Barbie has been dumped by her boyfriend Ken as part of a major campaign by Greenpeace to highlight that packaging containing the iconic plastic toy has been linked to deforestation in Indonesia.
The campaign, which yesterday began outside Barbie
’s head office in Los Angeles, reached London today, where a giant billboard-style banner was unfurled in Piccadilly Circus
picturing on-off Barbie boyfriend, Ken, and the words: "Barbie, you're dumped".
Links to rainforest
Greenpeace says it has launched the campaign because it has evidence to show paper used in Barbie boxes is being sourced from rainforests in Indonesia, where endangered animals such as orang-utans, Sumatran tigers and elephants are seeing their habitat rapidly disappear.
Following analysis, Greenpeace says it has discovered fibres in the Barbie packaging link directly to the forests and peatlands of Indonesia, while an investigation into the supply chain of the toy has led it to Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a company Greenpeace accuses of deforestation in Indonesia. As well as Mattel, Greenpeace is implicating toy companies Disney, Hasbro and Lego for using the same mixed tropical hardwood fibre found in the Barbie packaging.
Greenpeace is backing up its claims with a dossier, which it says outlines the role of APP and Barbie in rainforest destruction.
Five Greenpeace activists evaded security this morning to scale the Piccadilly Circus building to launch the UK guerrilla campaign that aims to get Mattel and other corporates to introduce more responsible paper sourcing policies. Greenpeace campaign tactics have been successful in getting other companies, such as Nestle, in the past to change their supply chain policies.
Greenpeace described its UK campaign as the "biggest guerrilla advertising bid" the country had ever seen.
"The many thousands of people who come to Piccadilly Circus every day can’t miss our 100 metre square message highlighting Barbie’s role in rainforest destruction. And Mattel, who make Barbie, can’t ignore this either," Greenpeace forests campaigner Ian Duff said. "Barbie is trashing rainforests and pushing critically-endangered wildlife, like tigers, towards extinction. Mattel must stop buying packaging from APP, a notorious rainforest destroyer which has been exposed many times for wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make throw-away packaging.
"Hopefully our guerrilla tactics will help save orang-utans."
Responding to the Greenpeace allegations, Mattel issued a statement yesterday saying it was "surprised and disappointed" at the "inflammatory approach" taken by Greenpeace and would "continue to assess [its] paper sourcing and packaging improvements".
APP attacked the Greenpeace allegations as "meaningless".
In a statement the company said: "Indonesia’s pulpwood land concessions, legally provided by the Government of Indonesia, include some degraded forests, which are required by law to be developed into plantations. Rather than burn the wood residues, increase carbon emissions or create disease outbreaks in the forests, the government requires that they be used to produce paper pulp. Despite this, as publicly stated, we have set the goal of 100 per cent sustainable plantation pulpwood by 2015. There is absolutely no illegal wood tolerated, nor is high conservation forest (HCV) harvested for pulpwood production."
Greenpeace said similar posters to the one in Piccadilly Circus were appearing over the bus and tube network in London.
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