A new pilot program from Hasbro is taking playthings from the toy box to the recycling bin. The program lets consumers send their Hasbro toys and games to recycling company TerraCycle, who will transform them into materials that can be used in a number of projects including play spaces, flower pots and park benches.
The toymaker is launching the program in the contiguous US and consumers can sign up for the free pilot at www.hasbrotoyrecycling.com. After signing up, participants can print out a free shipping label and send a box of Hasbro products to TerraCycle. The program is open to all Hasbro toys and games, including face-to-face games, plastic and electronic toys, action figures, dolls and plush.
According to TerraCycle, the pilot program is the first brand-sponsored national recycling program in the industry. Its launch comes as Hasbro continues to bolster its sustainability efforts. In March, the toyco announced it will use plant-based bio-polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for blister packs and plastic windows in its product packaging beginning in 2019.
The company’s move toward more sustainable packaging began in 2010 when it eliminated wire ties. In 2015, Hasbro reached 90% recycled or sustainably sourced paper for its packaging and in-box content. Last year, the company adopted How2Recycle labeling on its US and Canadian packaging. By 2025, Hasbro aims to reduce waste to landfills by 50%, reduce water consumption by 15%, reduce energy consumption by 20% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.
Hasbro’s efforts are part of a larger industry shift toward increasing sustainability. The LEGO Group recently announced it would be making a botanical elements range—including leaves, bushes and trees—out of plastic sourced from sugarcane. The initiative is part of LEGO’s commitment to use all sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.
Mattel, for its part, adopted sustainable sourcing principles in 2011 to guide the company’s procurement of paper and wood fiber for its packaging and products. The principles focus on maximizing post-consumer recycled content, avoiding virgin fiber from controversial sources and increasing the percentage of fiber that is certified by credible third parties. Additionally, Disney launched its SmartPackaging Initiative in 2016, which is dedicated to creating environmentally conscious product packaging.