From Box Office to Eco-Warrior: The Green Transformation of Barbie

Jay Clair
6 min readAug 6, 2023


Who would have thought that the beloved Barbie, the queen of the toy world, would one day rule the box office too? Yes, you heard it right! Barbie has made history with a whopping $1 billion at the box office in just three weeks. Talk about a blockbuster! But amidst the glitz, glamour, and record-breaking success, there’s a question that’s been on everyone’s mind:

What about all the plastic?

Hold on to your recyclable hats, because we’ve got some exciting news. Barbie, the world’s most iconic doll, has decided to turn over a new leaf, or should we say, a new recycled plastic bottle. Yes, you heard it right! Our favourite fashionista is going green, and we’re not discussing her new dress colour.

So, buckle up as we dive into the world of eco-friendly Barbie. It’s going to be a wild, green ride!

The History of Barbie: A Plastic Journey

Alright, let’s hop into our time machines and set the dial to 1959. The Beatles were yet to invade America, the Moon was still a dream away, and a certain stylish doll named Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Little did we know, this 11.5-inch fashionista was about to take the world by storm!

Fast forward a few decades, and Barbie has done it all. From being an astronaut to a firefighter, a journalist, and even the President, Barbie has broken more glass ceilings than we can count. But let’s not forget, each of these career changes came with a new outfit, accessories, and sometimes even a new Dreamhouse. Talk about a wardrobe change!

But here’s the catch. All these outfits, accessories, and Dreamhouses were made of plastic. And as we know, plastic isn’t exactly the environment’s best friend. In fact, it’s more like that annoying guest who overstays their welcome and never leaves…like ever.

So, while we were busy playing with our Barbies, the discarded plastic accessories were partying it up in landfills and oceans. Not exactly the kind of party we’d like to attend, right?

But don’t lose hope just yet! Our story takes a turn for the better in the next section. So, keep reading as Barbie swaps her plastic pumps for eco-friendly flats. Trust us, it’s a makeover you don’t want to miss!

Barbie’s Sustainable Makeover: Barbie Loves The Ocean

Just when we thought Barbie couldn’t get any cooler, she surprised us yet again. This time, she’s not changing her career or her outfit, but her very essence. Barbie has decided to go green, and we’re not talking about a new eyeshadow palette.

Introducing the “Barbie Loves The Ocean” line, a new range of dolls that are as eco-friendly as they are stylish. These dolls are made from 90% recycled ocean-bound plastic parts. Yes, you read that right. Barbie is now saving the ocean one doll at a time!

This new line includes three unique dolls and several beach-themed playsets, including a volleyball set and a beach shack. And the best part? They don’t look any different from the Barbie sets we know and love. The only difference is that these sets won’t be crashing the party at the landfill anytime soon.

So, next time you’re playing beach volleyball with Barbie, remember, you’re not just having fun, you’re also helping save the planet. Talk about multitasking!

But wait, there’s more! Barbie’s parent company, Mattel, has some big green plans up its sleeve. Keep reading to find out what they are. Spoiler alert: It involves a lot of recycling and a lot less plastic!

Mattel’s Sustainability Goals: The Future of Pink is Green

Now, let’s talk about the big guns behind Barbie’s green makeover — Mattel. They’ve launched a campaign that’s as catchy as it is eco-friendly: “The Future of Pink is Green.” And no, they’re not talking about a new line of watermelon-themed Barbies. They’re talking about serious, impactful sustainability goals.

Mattel has set its sights on achieving 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in its products and packaging by 2030. That’s right, folks! In less than a decade, Barbie’s plastic kingdom could become a green empire.

But that’s not all. By the end of 2021 sourced 95% of its packaging materials from recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and wood. So, not only will Barbie be eco-friendly, but her packaging will be too. It’s like getting a gift wrapped in another gift!

And let’s not forget about Barbie’s fabulous outfits. Mattel is aiming for 75% of clothing fibres to be sourced from sustainable materials. So, Barbie will not only be a fashion icon but also a sustainable fashion icon. Talk about setting trends!

But what happens to the old Barbies? The ones that have been loved a little too much? Well, Mattel has a plan for them too. Keep reading to find out what it is. Hint: It involves a lot of recycling and a new lease on life!

Mattel’s Toy Takeback Program: PlayBack

Remember the old Barbies we mentioned earlier? The ones that have seen better days? Well, Mattel hasn’t forgotten about them. In fact, they’ve come up with an ingenious way to give them a new lease on life. Introducing PlayBack, Mattel’s very own toy takeback program.

Through PlayBack, Mattel will accept toys from Barbie, Matchbox, and MEGA brands to recycle the materials into new toys. It’s like the circle of life, but for toys! So, your beloved Barbie could be reborn as a brand-new toy for another child to love. It’s the ultimate recycling program!

Unfortunately, PlayBack isn’t available in Australia yet, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. After all, who wouldn’t want their old Barbies to have a second chance at life?

But Mattel’s green initiatives don’t stop there. They’re also using Barbie’s platform to educate millions of children about environmental conservation. Keep reading to find out how. Spoiler alert: It involves YouTube and a lot of fun!

Barbie’s Eco-Friendly Education Initiative: Barbie Goes Viral

Did you know that Barbie is a YouTube sensation? With a whopping 10.6 million subscribers, Barbie’s YouTube channel is a hit among kids worldwide. But she’s not just sharing fashion tips or Dreamhouse tours. Barbie is using her platform to educate kids about environmental conservation. Talk about a role model!

To coincide with “The Future of Pink is Green” campaign, Barbie released a vlog titled ‘Barbie Shares How We Can All Protect the Planet’. This isn’t your typical vlog. It’s an adorable video that educates kids on how to conserve energy, how to compost, and how to get active in their community. It’s like a mini eco-warrior training session!

With nearly 300,000 views, this video is spreading the message of sustainability to kids worldwide. It’s proof that Barbie isn’t just a pretty face. She’s a champion for the environment, teaching kids that they too can make a difference.

So, the next time your kids are on YouTube, why not let them watch Barbie’s vlog? They’ll have fun and learn about protecting the planet at the same time. It’s a win-win!

Conclusion: Barbie’s Green Journey and the Future

Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of our green journey with Barbie. From her plastic beginnings to her sustainable makeover, Barbie has shown us that it’s never too late to change and make a difference.

Barbie’s transformation is more than just a marketing strategy. It’s a testament to the power of sustainability and the impact we can have when we choose to go green. It’s about teaching our kids that every action, no matter how small, can help protect our planet.

Sure, Mattel still has a long way to go in terms of sustainability, and reducing its reliance on plastic. But let’s give credit where credit is due. Their efforts to make Barbie eco-friendly and their commitment to achieving 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in their products and packaging by 2030 is a huge step in the right direction.

So, next time you see a Barbie doll, remember, she’s not just a toy. She’s a symbol of change, a beacon of hope, and proof that even in a world of plastic, we can find a way to be green.

And remember, just like Barbie, we too can make a difference. So, let’s take a leaf out of Barbie’s book and do our part to protect the planet. After all, the future of pink is green!

Stay tuned for more exciting eco-friendly updates and remember, every day is a good day to be green!



Jay Clair

Head of Marketing at Bluesfest. SEO Nerd & Writer. About Me: Contrarian, rational optimist, curiosity is king.