The end of plastic Lego bricks? Toymaker hopes to go green by 2030

Last year, Lego manufactured 60 billion bricks. That’s a lot of plastic, and not great for the environment.

The end of plastic Lego bricks? Toymaker hopes to go green by 2030

While plenty of companies would brush these concerns under the carpet, Lego has decided to tackle the problem head-on, earmarking 1 billion Danish Krone – or £95 million – to find a way to make its products from sustainable materials by 2030.

The first step is the creation of the Lego Sustainable Materials Centre in Billund, Denmark. The company will be hiring more than 100 specialists to consider new raw materials from which the bricks could be made.lego_plastic_cleanup

In a statement on the company’s website, Lego CEO and president Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said: “Several factors influence the environmental sustainability of a material – the composition of the material, how it’s sourced and what happens when the product reaches the end of its life. When we search for new materials all of these factors must be considered.”

When the company kicked off in the 1930s, the toys were made from wood. If you buy a Lego set today, pieces are made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastics; the iconic plastic brick was patented in 1958.

The target to go green by 2030 was set by Lego back in 2012, and with the company achieving FSC certification for its reduced packaging size, the brick itself is the next obvious target. With any luck, the company’s investment will ensure the new bricks are here well ahead of 2030.

Still, whatever materials they use, hopefully the bricks won’t be quite as painful to tread on as the current ABS ones.

Images: Sunny Ripert and Masked Builder used under Creative Commons

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