Technological watch

Kickstart: May the Fourth Be With You

Hello there, it's me, Erin Sloan, again. This time celebrating probably the nerdiest day of the year: Star Wars Day. Or May 4. As in, May the Fourth Be With You.

There's plenty of plastic involved in the long and complex history of Star Wars. The original movie was one of the first to use plastic vacuum forming for props, body armor, droids and Darth Vader's costume. It also reshaped the toy industry.

Kenner toys originally brought the galaxy far, far away to life with more than action figures produced between 1977 and 1985. That number is probably well over a billion now.

But for collectors, a coming reboot for packaging is stoking rebellion.

In 2019, Hasbro, which now has the Star Wars toy license, announced that it would have plastic-free packaging.

That means no more clear plastic windows on packages. Collectors like that film because it allows you to get close to the product without having to open it. Or if you're like me, you can open it and store it and put the item back in there as needed.

Hasbro's rationale was to help make its packaging more recyclable, but as many collectors pointed out, these packages aren't being tossed. They're being savored and doing the noble job of protecting the figure inside for display.

In 2018, Hasbro started the switch to using 30 percent plant-based "bioPET" in its plastic packaging.

Publication date: 03/05/2022

Plastics News - automotive


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.