It seems there’s trouble in paradise for Barbie. Ken has told her “It’s over.” His grounds? Her destruction of the rainforest.
On Tuesday morning, Greenpeace activists dressed as Ken dolls rappelled down Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, California. They hung a banner on the 15-story building reading, “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.” Meanwhile, down at street level, a female activist dressed as a Barbie in pink and blue Spandex, drove a pink skip loader, and ultimately, was arrested along with nine other protesters, reports the LA Times.
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“Barbie is trashing rainforests and pushing critically-endangered wildlife, like tigers, toward extinction,” Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s campaign to save the rainforests in Indonesia, in Jakarta, told Reuters. “Mattel, which makes Barbie, must stop wrapping the world’s most famous toy in rainforest destruction.”
It’s not exactly Barbie’s fault. Actually, it’s not even Mattel who is ultimately to blame. Underneath the banners and the bulldozers, Greenpeace’s real target is Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a paper firm which operates under the Sinar Mas brand and is a supplier to Mattel’s Indonesia and Chinese packaging printers. Greenpeace says that it has evidence that Barbie packaging comes from the Indonesian rainforest, the third-largest in the world, 40% of which has been cleared in the last 50 years.
Reuters reports that APP said in a statement that the product in discussion contains 96% recycled material, and that the firm hopes to use 100% sustainable plantation pulpwood by 2015. The protests in Los Angeles help to begin a worldwide campaign against toy companies that Greenpeace alleges are driving Indonesian deforestation.
Last year Nestle agreed to stop using products that come from rainforest destruction, but not before this Greenpeace video went viral. It features a worker delighting in a Kit Kat that turns out to be not a chocolate-covered wafer but instead an orangutan’s finger that spews blood with the man’s first bite.
It’s not unlike the blood that squirts out at Ken as he watches footage of Barbie killing tigers and orangutans on a laptop in this more recent video. “That’s a lot of rainforest being hacked down just so she can wrap herself in cheaper packaging,” says the accented narrator. “Where do you think all that extra money came from for those chest waxes, Ken?”
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