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Hasbro Turns Over a New Leaf, Steps Up For Rainforests

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One of the world's biggest toy makers is no longer playing around when it comes to deforestation.

In June, Greenpeace research showed that many popular toys -- like Barbie dolls and Transformers -- were being wrapped in paper packaging linked to rainforest destruction. Our investigations showed paper from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a notorious forest-destroyer in Indonesia, was ending up in the supply chains of top toy makers. Based on this evidence, Mattel and Lego have already severed contracts with APP, which is notorious for driving the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia. Now, Hasbro is joining the mix with a leading paper-buying policy.

Well known for brands like Transformers, Monopoly, G.I. Joe, and Nerf, toy giant Hasbro has made a global commitment to protect endangered forests, and avoid controversial sources of wood, including forest destroyers like APP. The new Hasbro policy will also increase the recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper in its toy packaging. Hasbro's new commitments are great news for Indonesian rainforests and the people and wildlife that depend on them.

It's heartening to see more and more companies around the world take action to save rainforests. Hasbro and its fellow toy companies are joining a growing list of businesses, including Nestlé, Adidas, Kraft, Unilever, Tesco, Carrefour, Auchan, Metro Group and Staples, that are taking rainforest conservation seriously.

Despite this growing list, APP has shown no signs of ending its deforestation habit.

For an alarming look at the situation from ground level, check out the recent Greenpeace Tiger's Eye Tour, which exposed ongoing clearance of rainforests inside APP concessions in Sumatra. This continued deforestation includes forests mapped as critical habitat for the endangered Sumatran tiger, and carbon-rich peatland that should be protected Indonesian law. With only 400 Sumatran tigers left, every last acre of its forest home matters.

In a paper-thin effort to repair its tarnished reputation, APP is investing in talk, not deeds. We're making sure customers don't fall for it. It's not difficult to do, especially when we contrast careful research and evidence with APP's tired litany of false advertising and selective, self-serving greenwash.

In the Netherlands, for example, the Dutch Advertising Code Commission (DACC) determined that that APP advertising both in print and on television are highly misleading the public. In Indonesia, the president Yudhoyono has dedicated the remaining three years of his term to protecting the rainforests, declaring that he does "not want to later explain to my granddaughter Almira that we, in our time, could not save the forests and the people that depend on it. I do not want to tell her the sad news that tigers, rhinoceroses, and orangutans vanished like the dinosaurs."

Though APP's international reputation continues to crumble, store shelves around the world still include their paper. Until APP cleans up its act, Greenpeace will make sure more and more companies join Hasbro in setting high standards to ensure the paper they use is not wiping away rainforests.

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