Plants from Plants: LEGO introduces Their First Sustainable Bricks

Anyone who has ever stepped on one of these small pieces of plastic might identify LEGO as one of the hardest and most indestructible things on the face of the earth. Indeed LEGO was designed for durability and holds up for years of play and the durability of LEGO has been a point of pride for the company.

When I rediscovered my passion for the building blocks in 2014, I dusted off my old play chest to discover pieces 20 years old, a bit dusty but still equally up to the task.

That durability comes at a cost and plastic is tough on the environment which is why in recent years the toy manufacturer has been exploring options to make their business more sustainable. Those efforts included a push to be reliant on renewable energy, a goal they reached three years ahead of schedule and a search for sustainable materials.

Yesterday The LEGO Group announced another milestone, this year we will see the first of LEGO’s new sustainable bricks enter circulation. Its a big achievement for the toy manufactured who originally invested over a billion DKK in search of sustainable materials three years ago in 2015.

The first of the new bricks will replace plant elements such as leaves, trees, and bushes. They are made with a plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in an effort to reduce LEGO’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Bio-plastic bricks will make up 1-2% of the total bricks this year and more in coming years as part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to using sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.

Longtime fans and collectors may be a bit sceptical about the idea that new bricks but Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group, assures that we “will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene”

It is pretty exciting that company as large as LEGO, whose product can be stressful for the environment working so hard to make adjustments for it. The resources they have spent on these kinds of research are significant, but a necessary investment to ensure we can all keep playing in the future.

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