* Raising amount of recycled, sustainable paper packaging
* Goal of 70 pct by end of '11, up to 85 pct by end of '15
* Sourcing plan covers cartons and consumer packaging
By Jessica Wohl
Oct 5 Mattel Inc (MAT.O) will increase the
amount of recycled and sustainable fiber used in its packaging
and products, months after the toy maker was criticized for
packaging that allegedly came from Indonesian rainforests.
The moves, set to be announced on Wednesday, focus on using
post-consumer recycled content whenever possible and avoiding
virgin fiber from controversial sources. Mattel, the world's
largest toy company, said it is also trying to increase the
amount of fiber it uses that can be certified by a third party
such as the Forest Stewardship Council.
In early June, Greenpeace said it had evidence that Barbie
doll packaging came from Indonesian rain forests. Greenpeace
activists, dressed as Ken dolls, rappelled down the side of
Mattel's headquarters near Los Angeles to unfurl a banner
saying Barbie packaging contributes to rainforest destruction.
Soon after that, Mattel told its printers to stop
contracting with Indonesian paper firm Asia Pulp & Paper Co Ltd
[SINAMS.UL], which Greenpeace accused of destroying rain
forests. Mattel said it does not contract directly with Asia
Pulp & Paper.
The El Segundo, Calif.-based toy maker aims to do a better
job of learning where fiber is coming from, said Lisa Marie
Bongiovanni, Mattel's vice president of corporate affairs.
"This is a process of continuous improvement for us," she
said. "This is just the beginning step for us on this issue."
Most of the packaging that Mattel uses, from the cartons
that house products shipped to stores, to the boxes that
shoppers bring home, is paper-based.
By the end of 2011, 70 percent of Mattel's paper packaging
will be made from recycled material or sustainable fiber. It
aims to raise that to 85 percent by the end of 2015, the
Mattel spoke with Greenpeace before and after the June
event and has held talks with other environmental groups.
"Mattel has established a clear purchasing policy for how
to address sustainable sourcing that will help prevent
deforestation," said Mark Comolli, director of the market
program for sustainable forestry at the Rainforest Alliance.
"We're looking forward to working with them to implement a
credible sourcing program that will enable them to make steady
progress toward achieving their goals."
Mattel's earlier environmental changes included eliminating
plastic-coated wire ties that used to be used to secure Barbie
dolls and other goods to their boxes. That effort was
spearheaded by Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), Mattel's largest
Asia Pulp & Paper operates under the Sinar Mas brand, as
does Sinar Mas Agro Resources & Technology (SMAR.JK), or SMART,
which last year released an independent audit after Greenpeace
alleged the company bulldozed high conservation value forests
and damaged carbon-rich peatlands. [ID:nJAK325319] In June,
Asia Pulp and Paper said its products meet the legal
requirements for all countries, including Indonesia.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; editing by Carol