Ken dumps Barbie over rainforest destruction

Posted by Kate Taylor

We've had Barbie the princess, Barbie the doctor, and now we've a new model - Barbie the evil tiger killer.

According to Greenpeace, the dolls' packaging is produced using timber from Indonesian rainforests, home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world, with the Indonesian government estimating that more than a million hectares of rainforest is cleared every year.

Greenpeace used forensic testing, local investigation, mapping data and company certificates to reach its verdict. And, it says,  maker Mattel is using packaging produced by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) - which has long been accused of wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make packaging.

Other toy companies, including Disney, are doing the same thing, Greenpeace says.

"APP is bad news for Indonesia’s forests. It treats Indonesia as nothing more than a vast disposable asset, grabbing rainforests that are vital to forest communities," says Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s campaign to save the forests in Indonesia.

"Mattel, and other toy companies like Disney, have a responsibility to support clean, low carbon development. They should drop APP right now and instead support responsible Indonesian producers."

Yesterday, Greenpeace activists dressed up like Barbie’s boyfriend Ken climbed Mattel’s Los Angeles headquarters with a giant banner, in a protest marking the start of a worldwide campaign.

"Barbie: It’s Over. I Don’t Date Girls That Are Into Deforestation,"  read the banner; six people were arrested for conspiracy and trespassing.

And the official Barbie Facebook page is plastered with critical comments.

"Barbie, I LOVED playing with you when I was a child but, please, you have to get away from rainforest destruction with your packaging," reads one. 

Barbie for some reason isn't replying - too busy washing her color-change hair, perhaps.

The Greenpeace report is here.