- Toy and game maker Hasbro is reintroducing plastic windows and blisters to the packaging for its 6-inch fan figurines, following a previous decision to eliminate plastic packaging. The new windows and blisters will be made from bio-PET or recycled PET, a spokesperson confirmed via email.
- The changes will be phased in starting later this year and into 2024 for certain products. Eventually, all new 6-inch figurine releases will be housed in the new packaging.
- Hasbro decided to make the change based on fan feedback and to “achieve our priority of meeting our fans’ expectations for extraordinary packaging and superior design while still developing packaging that minimizes waste and the use of virgin plastic.”
Hasbro announced in 2019 that it would phase out plastic packaging the following year, with the goal of eliminating nearly all plastic packaging for new products by the end of 2022. That was one of several changes over the past 15 years to make its products and packaging more sustainable, along with eliminating wire ties, adding How2Recycle labeling and partnering with TerraCycle on a toy recycling program.
However, fans of the collectible toys note that the windowless packaging contributed to reduced sales because consumers can’t see what product is inside, only the printed image on the box, making the products less valuable to some collectors. The windowless packaging reportedly also resulted in an uptick of theft in which more valuable figurines are swapped out for less desirable ones and then the package is returned to a store for a refund.
These are among the many challenges companies face when developing more sustainable alternatives to existing packaging types that have been optimized over the course of decades.
Hasbro started using plant-based plastic, as opposed to the typical petroleum-based, for certain packaging elements in 2018. The Coca-Cola Company, Tetra Pak and LEGO are among the other companies that have experimented with incorporating bioplastics into their packaging.
Hasbro’s website says the company designs its packaging with circularity in mind and considers the package’s entire life cycle in addition to using at least 90% recycled or sustainably sourced paper in its packaging. It joined the Science Based Targets initiative last year, and SBTi will validate the 2030 and 2050 goals that Hasbro is in the process of drawing up.