Automakers, cities and governments are all moving toward a future that reduces carbon emissions. For many, 2030 seems to be the magic number, the year when brand lineups will be electrified and the sales ban of internal combustion engines will go into effect. Now we can add toymaker Matchbox to the list.
While Matchbox’s cars are already powered by emissions-free energy, the brand announced this week that it plans to make all cars, playsets and packaging with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic by 2030. And while Matchbox is the first to announce their sustainability goals, the same goes for all brands under parent company Mattel. That means Hot Wheels, Barbie and Polly Pocket will all follow suit.
Matchbox unveiled its new zero-plastic packaging as part of the announcement. Gone is the traditional plastic blister glued to a piece of cardboard, a format that’s been in use for decades. Instead, the car will reside in a small cardboard box, returning to the formula that the brand started with 68 years ago (and where the name Matchbox originated from). The paper and wood fiber materials the make up the packaging will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The cars themselves will be made from recycled plastic and zinc as well. The only non-recycled material will be the stainless steel axles that comprise about 1% of the toy’s materials. Matchbox is encouraging recycling of its toys when they’ve reached the end of their play life as well. For example, playsets will be designed so that the electronics are contained in a single, easily removable module to facilitate e-waste recycling.
It’s not just the toys’ construction that’ll be green. Even the subject matter will be updated to reflect the way the auto industry is going. The first toy car to be designed under the sustainability mandate is a Tesla Roadster. Other green machines in the lineup include the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and i8, Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Tesla Model S and Semi. Meanwhile, playsets will include features like charging stations.
“Since the inception of the modern-day die-cast car nearly 70 years ago, Matchbox has been using design and innovation to connect kids with the real world around them through play,” said Roberto Stanichi, Global Head of Vehicles at Mattel. “Matchbox is [committed to doing] our part in addressing the environmental issues we face today, and empower the next generation of Matchbox fans to help steer us towards a sustainable future.”