Denmark – Toy maker Lego is acknowledging the need for more sustainable products. The company will start to turn its back to plastic and will start selling plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane from 2018.
Production has started on a range of sustainable Lego elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. The new sustainable ‘botanical’ elements will come in varieties including leaves, bushes and trees.
“At the Lego Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the Lego Group. “This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials.”
The move is part of the Lego Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030. The goal is to reach zero waste in operations, and to introduce sustainable paper pulp trays for the Lego advent calendar, reducing plastic waste from going to landfill.
The current, first sustainable elements are made from polyethylene, which is a soft, durable and flexible plastic, and while they are based on sugar-cane material, they are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic. The elements have been tested to ensure the plant-based plastic meets the standards for quality and safety. The brick design will not change so that two Lego bricks produced decades apart can still fit together.
The Lego Group has partnered with WWF to support and build demand for sustainably sourced plastic and has joined the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), an initiative of WWF, to secure fully sustainable sourcing of raw material for the bioplastics industry. The plant-based plastic used to make the botanical Lego elements is certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard for responsibly sourced sugarcane.
“It is essential that companies in each industry find ways to responsibly source their product materials and help ensure a future where people, nature, and the economy thrive,” said Alix Grabowski, a senior program officer at WWF.
Image credit: Lego