Barbie and Ken Break Up; She's Dumped Over Rainforest Issue

mattel, barbies
She seems OK, but on the inside? She's devastated.

Well if this doesn’t make a fine girl’s girls sag — a real letdown.

Ken — many Kens — gathered in downtown Los Angeles to collectively break up with the iconic Mattel doll, Barbie. Seems Ken’s got standards and Barbie is not living up to them. The break-up has nothing to do with beauty, or brains (or lack of brains) or Barbie spending too much time surfing and being a veterinarian with a realistic figure instead of pulling off her clothes and laying, stiff-legged on top of an also naked Ken.

No! Ken’s mad because Barbie is killing Indonesian rainforest.

Greenpeace has told the media that it has found evidence Barbie doll packaging is made from materials harvested from Indonesian rainforests. So the group organized a protest of Barbie with supporters dressed as Ken dolls rallying around Mattel headquarters in LA. They also managed to gain access to the skyscraper where Mattel is housed, where a sign asking Barbie for a break-up was unfurled.

The bright pink sign featuring a smiling doll said: “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”

According to Reuters, Greenpeace says it has forensic evidence linking Barbie doll packaging to the threatened rainforests of  Indonesia. The activist group said it can also link other companies to the forest’s destruction, including Disney.

The packaging was produced by Asia Pulp and Paper, who deny they have done anything not in accordance with laws there and internationally. They also say Greenpeace is preying on the emotions of parents and kids.

Indonesia and its rainforest are seen as key players in the fight against global warming and is under international pressure to stop destroying forest and carbon-rich peatlands, according to Reuters. Indonesia declared a long list of exemptions to its moratorium on logging recently, including APP. Last year, a retail giant in France stopped buying from APP, citing concerns over environmental destruction and global warming.

I would not have known about Mattel’s possible link to bad packaging practices had it not been for this Greenpeace stunt, though I worry things like this put more people off to Greenpeace than to Mattel or Disney or other large corporations who don’t use their buying power to promote sustainable solutions rather than old, destructive ways of doing things.

Still, I’m not a big buyer of Barbie products but we get them as presents and they come with a ton of packaging that goes right in the trash, which is what I hate. Now, I think I might hate it even more. We’re cutting down rainforest that could help reverse global warming trends just so half-way across the world I can throw something away? No thanks!

Barbie, don’t come crying to me about your break-up!

What about you? Hate packaging? Hate Greenpeace? Wish you had easy toy purchase choices that don’t include trade-offs like throwing out Indonesian rainforest?

Photo: kitkaphotogirl via flicker

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