Barbie the Tree Logger?

Photo by Greenpeace |

When I think of Barbie, I think... the 1990s Aqua song, hot pink sports cars, and inappropriate professional uniforms (Barbie as a sexy pilot, doctor, diving instructor, it’s endless really). However, as of late, the Barbie brand has been associated with much darker topics, such as... rainforest deforestation?

The Mattel Barbie dolls impact on young female perceptions of beauty is widely known as the primary controversy surrounding this iconic girls’ toy, however, in recent months, Mattel has been faced with a new environmental negative PR hailstorm. International environmental whistle blower and activist organization, Greenpeace, discovered that Mattel was using packaging materials obtained from a pulp and paper company operating out of the Indonesian rainforest.

Greenpeace reveals: “Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, is feeding this nasty habit by using paper packaging for the world's most famous toy from Indonesia's most notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).Critical wildlife habitat and carbon-rich rainforests and peatlands are being wrecked for cheap, throw-away toy packaging”.

This area provides essential habitation for the endangered tiger, orang-utans, and Indonesian elephant. Companies like Disney Toys and Hasbro electronics have also been implicated in the senseless destruction of this sacred eco system.

Starfish readers, I recognize, if you care about environmental issues, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re still playing with Barbie, Ken, or their many plastic friends. However, I urge you, to please follow this link, and send an automated letter to your national Mattel CEO regarding this issue. Attacks such as this on spaces like the Indonesian rainforest represent a much wider paradigm that threatens the sanctity and protection of ancient forests everywhere.


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