Toy giant Hasbro will begin phasing out plastic packaging in its products from next year, with the aim of virtually eliminating it from new product packaging by 2022.

Polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets, and blister packs are all in the firing line across product ranges such as Nerf, My Little Pony, Monopoly, Magic: the Gathering, and Power Rangers, according to Brian Goldner, chairman and CEO of Hasbro.

“Removing plastic from our packaging is the latest advancement in our more than decade-long journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and our world.

“We have an experienced, cross-functional team in place to manage the complexity of this undertaking and will look to actively engage employees, customers, and partners as we continue to innovate and drive progress as a leader in sustainability,” he said.

Image: Wizards of the Coast
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Hasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast previously experimented with replacing flow-wrapped blister packs in the Magic: the Gathering trading card game for the Modern Masters 2015 set, which used recyclable cardboard packs (pictured) instead; however, subsequent set releases reverted to flow wrap, with customers concerned about pack security.

It was discovered that the new packs could be opened and re-sealed without removing the pull tab, thus potentially allowing unscrupulous sellers to open sealed packs, remove valuable cards and replace them with cheap ones, then re-seal them without the customer being any the wiser. Some customers also reported that the packaging was damaging the cards.

Hasbro has already taken other sustainability steps including removing wire ties in 2010; adding recycling labels in 2016; introducing plant-based BioPET in 2018; and partnering with TerraCycle for a toy recycling program across France, Germany, Brazil, and the US excluding Alaska and Hawaii.

John Frascotti, president and chief operating officer, said Hasbro drives sustainability across the business through its Sustainability Center of Excellence.

“Reimagining and redesigning packaging across our brand portfolio is a complex undertaking, but we believe it’s important and our teams are up for the challenge.

“We know consumers share our commitment to protecting the environment, and we want families to feel good knowing that our packaging will be virtually plastic-free, and our products can be easily recycled through our Toy Recycling Program with TerraCycle,” he said.

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