Four days ago, Hasbro, the creator of Monopoly and Scrabble, announced it would start phasing out plastic from new product packaging in 2020. By 2022, the company believes it will be able to eliminate “virtually all plastic in packaging for new products.”
To clarify the initiative, I spoke with Kathrin Belliveau, Hasbro’s Senior Vice-President of Government and Regulatory Affairs.
What will Hasbro replace plastic with?
When Aldi announced it would start phasing out plastic bags, it announced that it would use either paper or compostable bags. Hasbro’s press release didn’t directly address this question, but Belliveau clarified it, telling me:
“Our approach will be different for each product, as our packaging team will evaluate to see what makes the most sense in terms of design and feasibility. In some cases, we may not replace the plastic and leave it as an open package. In other cases, we may use paper instead of plastic.”
Are there more specific promises?
Hasbro has been working on sustainability initiatives at least as far back as 2010 when it eliminated wire ties. But as sustainability promises become increasingly common among brands, it has become critical to hold them accountable for their words. Since Hasbro promised to eliminate “virtually all plastic packaging by 2022,” I wanted to know if Hasbro could clarify.
Belliveau told me:
“Right now, that is our goal – to eliminate virtually all plastic from new product packaging by the end of 2022.”
At the moment, it may be too early to be more specific. Hence, we are keeping in touch with Hasbro’s PR team to update this story to reflect the company’s progress periodically.
A more comprehensive timeline for Hasbro’s initiative?
Although a timeline would have been helpful for consumers to track Hasbro’s initiative, it may be too early for more specificity. When asked to clarify a more specific timeline, Belliveau told me:
“This will be a phased approach with the process starting in 2020 for all new Hasbro-produced products. Over the course of this three-year period, we will remove plastic elements like polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets, and blister packs from our packaging.”
“Based on the sheer number of products we produce each year, this is a big undertaking but we are ready to take this step and are committed to doing our part to make the world a better place for children and families.”
If Hasbro follows through with its promise, its environmental impact could be tremendous. But of course, there are challenges ahead.
John Frascotti, Hasbro’s President and Chief Operating Officer, shared: “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.”
But the Hasbro team sounds dedicated to making it work. Frascotti adds:
“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.”
The commitment from Hasbro is exciting and we’re looking forward to staying in the loop about the company’s progress.