Thursday, 9 June 2011

Greenpeace convinces Ken to leave Barbie!

Gee, don't mess with Greenpeace, they'll come after you with a big publicity stick. The protest organisation has the Mattel toy corporation in its crosshairs for its use of products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in its packaging, particularly for its line of Barbie toys. Asia Pulp & Paper stands accused of clearing Indonsesian rainforests and threatening species native to those areas; actions which are supposedly in conflict with Mattel's stated policy of corporate responsibility.

On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Greenpeace launched a campaign against Mattel at its headquarters in El Segundo, California. According to Reuters, men dressed as "Ken" rappelled down the side of the Mattel building to hang a banner which read, "Barbie, it's over. I don't date girls who are into deforestation." A woman dressed as Barbie drove a small pink bulldozer handing out copies of the group's charges. (Click here for pictures from Google image search) According to reports, eight protesters were arrested at the scene on charges of trespassing.

News outlets quoted an emailed statement from Greenpeace activist Rolf Skar: "Unwrap the glossy pink box and you'll find Barbie's dirty secret. Her packaging is made from the rainforests of Indonesia which are being ripped down for quick profits. The Sumatran tiger is on the brink of extinction because companies like Mattel are looking the other way and buying paper without asking where it's coming from."

So far, this seems like another splashy publicity stunt designed to garner attention for a worthy cause. However, Greenpeace didn't stop there. The piece de resistance seems to be a short video they had made which amusingly interviews "Ken" as the off-camera journalists reveals to "him" photographic evidence of "Barbie's" questionable practices elsewhere in the world.

Uploaded by GreenpeaceVideo on Jun 6, 2011
Barbie's rainforest destruction habit REVEALED!
In a recent interview Ken learns of Barbie's scandalous deforestation habit ... she's been wrapping herself in rainforest destruction and pushing endangered Sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction ...

Final Word
Wow. What a message: don't mess with Greenpeace. Seriously though, the organisation does good work. Let's face it, we may all do something not quite right to save a buck and large corporations just do it on a large scale. If Greenpeace doesn't raise awareness of deforestation, polluting, and the extinction of animals, who will? We may say that the dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century, but in looking around at what dumb things people do to get a buck, we could argue that the dodo is very much alive and well.


Reuters - Jun 7/2011
"Ken" doll protesters arrested at Mattel headquarters
Greenpeace activists dressed as Ken dolls rappelled down the side of Mattel's headquarters on Tuesday to unfurl a banner saying Barbie packaging contributes to rainforest destruction.

The Washington Post - June 8/2011
Greenpeace protests Barbie at Mattel headquarters By Sarah Anne Hughes
Greenpeace is taking a stand against one of the most well-known public figures in the world: Barbie.

The Los Angeles Times - Jun 8/2011
Greenpeace stages protest at Mattel office over Barbie packaging By Margot Roosevelt
Greenpeace accuses Mattel of using paper from Indonesian rain forests to package Barbie dolls. Activists hang a large banner on Mattel's headquarters in El Segundo. Police arrest 10 protesters.

Wikipedia: Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity" and focuses its work on world wide issues such as global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals. The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties, relying on more than 2.8 million individual supporters and foundation grants.

Wikipedia: Mattel
Mattel, Inc. is the world's largest toy company based on revenue. The products it produces include Fisher Price, Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, Masters of the Universe, American Girl dolls, board games, and, in the early 1980s, video game consoles. The company's name is derived from Harold "Matt" Matson and Elliot Handler, who founded the company in 1945. Handler's wife, Ruth Handler, later became president, and is credited with establishing the Barbie product line for the company in 1959. After the release of the Barbie doll, Mattel revolutionized the toy industry with its talking dolls and toys. Major successes in the 1960s with the talking Chatty Cathy doll in 1960 and See 'N Say toys in 1965 moved Mattel to its position as the number one toymaker in America. Mattel closed its last American factory, originally part of the Fisher-Price division, in 2002, outsourcing production to China, the beginning of a chain of events that led to a scandal involving lead contamination.

Wikipedia: Mattel: Asia Pulp and Paper Controversy
On June 8, 2011, Greenpeace launched "Barbie, It's Over", an international campaign criticising Mattel's use of Asia Pulp & Paper's products in its packaging, particularly in its line of Barbie products. Greenpeace accuses Asia Pulp & Paper of clearing Indonesian rainforests and threatening species native to those rainforests. Destruction of the rainforest conflicts with Mattel's stated corporate responsibility policy.

Greenpeace: Barbie, it's over
Barbie has a nasty deforestation habit - she is trashing rainforests in Indonesia, including areas that are home to some of the last tiger, orang-utans and elephants, just so she can wrap herself in pretty packaging. 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).

Wikipedia: Asia Pulp & Paper
Asia Pulp & Paper, also know in the paper industry as APP is based in Singapore, is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It was founded by Eka Cipta Widjaja, who had significant ties to the Suharto ruling family in Indonesia. Currently 80-90% of the fiber for papermaking that APP obtains from Indonesia comes from sustainable plantations. While several organizations continue to claim that a significant portion of its raw materials from from rainforests in addition to farmed wood, APP recognizes an imperfect early track record and is now working actively to rely on sustainable plantations for future production and to promote preservation of rainforests and peat lands.

Wikipedia: Asia Pulp & Paper: Mattel
In 7 June 2011, Greenpeace launched "Barbie, It's Over", a global campaign to bring awareness and encourage Mattel to switch pulp and paper producers. Mattel uses paper sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper in its product packaging, particularly in packaging in the Barbie line of toys.

Wikipedia: Asia Pulp & Paper: Environmental issues and logging practices
[The company is in trouble about illegal logging, non green practices, etc.]

Greenpeace: Deforestation (PDF)
Millions of hectares of Indonesia’s rainforest habitats and carbonrich peatlands are earmarked for destruction

Euronews - Jun 8/2011
Greenpeace blame Barbie for forest destruction
Greenpeace is pointing the finger of blame at Barbie. It claims packaging for the doll is contributing to the destruction of Indonesia's rainforests. Her boyfriend Ken does not approve, according to the group. Manufacturers Mattel say they have been in touch with Greenpeace on a variety of paper sourcing issues....


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