Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Greenpeace accuses Barbie of destroying rainforests

DESTRUCTION:Activists said Mattel and Walt Disney package toys using paper from APP. The Indonesian firm said its products meet legal requirements for all countries

Reuters, JAKARTA

Greenpeace said yesterday it had evidence that Barbie doll packaging comes from Indonesian rainforests, accusing toy manufacturers such as Mattel Inc and Walt Disney Co of contributing to the country’s rapid deforestation.

On Tuesday, Greenpeace activists dressed as Ken dolls rappelled down the side of Mattel headquarters near Los Angeles to unfurl a banner saying Barbie packaging contributes to rainforest destruction.

The massive pink-and-blue sign on the Mattel building featured a frowning Ken declaring: “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”

“Barbie is trashing rainforests and pushing critically endangered wildlife, like tigers, towards extinction,” Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s campaign to save the forests in Indonesia, said in Jakarta.

“Mattel, which makes Barbie, must stop wrapping the world’s most famous toy in rainforest destruction,” he added.

Greenpeace said its investigators used forensic testing that showed Barbie’s packaging comes from Indonesian rainforests.

Activists also used “in country” investigation, mapping data and traced company certificates to show that Mattel, along with other toy companies — including Disney — were using packaging produced by Indonesian paper firm Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which Greenpeace accuses of destroying rainforests.

Mattel , the world’s biggest toy firm by revenue, said in a written statement that it had been in communication with Greenpeace on a variety of paper sourcing issues.

It was not immediately clear what percentage of Mattel’s paper packaging comes from APP.

Responding to Greenpeace, APP said its products meet the legal requirements for all countries, including Indonesia.

“It is our responsibility to adhere strictly to these laws, not to satisfy the unreasonable and groundless demands of a foreign-based NGO [non-governmental organization],” the statement added.

“We believe it’s irresponsible to play on the emotions of children and their parents to rehash old, discredited allegations in order to attack the industry of a developing nation,” it said.

APP added that the product attacked by Greenpeace contained 96 percent recycled material.

The firm has set a goal of 100 percent sustainable plantation pulp wood by 2015.

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