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Mattel wants your old toys for its new recycling program. Here’s what to know

Mattel says its goal is for all plastic materials used in its products and packaging to be 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based by 2030.
Mattel PlayBack
Mattel wants you to send in your old toys to be recycled for use in future in products. The Mattel PlayBack program launched Monday. (Teri Weber | Mattel)

It’s time to clean out the attic — Mattel wants your old toys.

The toy maker announced Monday the launch of Mattel PlayBack, a program that seeks to breathe new life into toys you or your little ones have outgrown.

Customers can send in the toys they no longer play with and Mattel will recycle the materials to be reused in new products.

“The Mattel PlayBack program helps parents and caregivers ensure that materials stay in play, and out of landfills, with the aim to repurpose these materials as recycled content in new toys,” Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Mattel head of sustainability, said in a statement.

Here’s how it works: Customers can print a free shipping label from Mattel.com/PlayBack and send back the Mattel toys they’re no longer using.

For now, Mattel is only accepting Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA products, but the company said it plans to add more brands in the future.

The toys will be processed and recycled.

“For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys, Mattel PlayBack will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste to energy,” the company said.

The program comes on the heels of several new Mattel releases made from bio-based plastics, including Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Baby’s First Blocks as well as a fully recyclable UNO deck called UNO Nothin’ But Paper made without cellophane packaging.

Mattel says its goal is for all plastic materials used in its products and packaging to be 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based by 2030.

Earlier this year, Nike announced a similar program called Nike Refurbished. Customers can send in their lightly worn Nikes and the company will spruce them back up by hand and resell them “at a value to customers.”

Shoes that can’t be refurbished will be either donated or recycled into Nike Grind, which is used in turf, indoor courts, carpet padding, playgrounds and other products.