Quantcast

Barbie's Rainforest Destruction Habit Revealed | The Nation

  •  
Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Barbie's Rainforest Destruction Habit Revealed

In less than three days, close to one million people have viewed an online spoof video featuring the moment Ken discovers, to his horror, that Barbie is involved in rainforest destruction, and almost 200,000 e-mailers have swamped Mattel’s offices complaining about the company’s use of packaging products from Indonesian rain forests.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of rainforests are being cleared every year, so time is not on our side.

The campaign is being led by Greenpeace International after the organization's investigators used forensic testing, “in country” investigation, mapping data and the tracing of company certificates to reveal that Barbie’s packaging is being produced by Asia Pulp and Paper, Indonesia's most notorious rainforest destroyer.

Greenpeace says that Barbie's manufacturer Mattel, the world's biggest toy company, has failed to take the steps required to remove products linked with deforestation caused by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) from its supply chain. The group says that a promised “investigation” is inadequate and that without a tough new paper and packaging policy Mattel will continue to be directly responsible for the destruction of tropical rainforests.

For background, read this extensive dossier outlining the role of APP and Barbie in rainforest destruction.

In short, Asia Pulp & Paper, a subsidiary of the Sinar Mas Group has been rapidly accelerating Indonesian rainforest destruction, which is hastening dangerous climate change, and pushing wildlife like the Sumatran tiger towards extinction. Less than half of Indonesia’s rainforests remain intact because of companies like Asia Pulp & Paper.

But it doesn't have to be this way. In 2008, Staples, the world's largest office products company, made clear that remaining a customer of APP would be “a great peril to our brand” and committed to the use of sustainable forest products. Moreover, Unilever, Kraft and Nestle have all stopped sourcing palm oil from Sinar Mas affiliates, while Carrefour, Office Depot and Woolworths (Australia) have stopped buying or selling any paper products connected to APP.

Send your letter today imploring Mattel to become a leader in the use of sustainable forest products by dumping Asia Pulp & Paper and implementing a new procurement policy for all pulp and paper products that precludes the use of timber from deforestation.

Like this blog post? Read it on The Nation’s free iPhone App, NationNow.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.