Plastic Pollution is on the Naughty List: Toy Company Plastic Use Draws Scrutiny from Investors

Contact Information:

Douglass Guernsey, Shareholder Advocate,, 617-747-4447

Pam Podger, Communications Director,, 802-299-9495

(Boston, MA) Good news for families looking to shrink their environmental impact this holiday season. Green Century°, one of the first families of fossil fuel free mutual funds in the U.S., filed three shareholder resolutions asking toy companies Disney*, Hasbro* and Mattel* to cut single-use plastic. Not only is excessive plastic packaging unnecessary and wasteful, but toy companies could also increase long-term value by reducing risks from single-use plastics used to package toys.

“Some toys have more plastic packaging than actual toy – it doesn’t make sense fiscally or environmentally,” said Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Funds. “There are real business concerns from single-use plastic, ranging from damaged brand reputation from plastic pollution to legal action because of toxicity. A toy’s packaging shouldn’t outlive the people who play with it.”

It is estimated that American’s household waste increases by more than 25% from Thanksgiving to New Years. Much of this waste comes from plastic packaging.

Excessive plastic packaging is highly visible and unpopular, and governments have increasingly issued taxes and bans on single-use plastic. Companies also face legal risk, as exemplified by New York state suing PepsiCo over river pollution and the multibillion-dollar fines leveled at manufacturers of plastic additive PFAS, commonly known as forever chemicals.

PFAS is one of the many chemicals manufacturers use in plastic packaging. This and other plastic additives, which are often largely unknown even to companies, are a particular concern for the toy industry as children are more susceptible to the effects of environmental toxins.

“Plastic is hurting wildlife in our oceans, and it’s also hurting us,” said Douglass Guernsey, shareholder advocate at Green Century. “Of the over 13,000 chemicals associated with plastics and plastic production, most have not been studied or are harmful to humans. Companies need to fully disclose their plastic footprints and commit to reducing all non-essential, single-use plastic.”

While investors are examining the growing issue, representatives from the UN are debating a global plastics treaty that could make companies responsible for the waste they create. Experts have stated that the best way to address the growing plastic crisis is to first reduce plastic use and production, particularly for non-essential single-use plastics, which are defined as plastics that are not absolutely necessary, have available alternatives, and have an intended lifespan of one use or less than 24 hours.









An investment strategy that incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.


About Green Century Funds

°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. Green Century hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.

*As of 9.30.2023, Walt Disney Co comprised 0.00%, 0.78%, and 0.00%, Hasbro, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.05%, and 0.00%, and Mattel Inc comprised 0.00%, 0.04%, and 0.00%, of Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.

You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please visit, email, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

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This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.

The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. December/2023