Plastic Lego to go green
Plastic is one of the biggest threats to our environment. But there are few things we love too much to give up, like our Legos. But wait, you can play with Legos and not harm nature too!
Lego has vowed that its iconic bricks will be 100 percent sustainable by 2030.
With pieces that are virtually unbreakable and reusable for generations, Lego — whose name is a contraction in Danish for “Leg Godt” or “Play Well” — has always had sustainability as a motto.
Now, the company just has to adapt to environmental and consumer demands.
A study by the NPD market research group showed that 47 percent of Christmas shoppers worldwide chose not to buy a toy due to sustainability concerns.
Lego, based in the western Danish town of Billund, has no plans to abandon plastic. Rather, it aims to improve on the materials it uses.
Currently, most of its pieces are made of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), a petroleum-based substance also used to make household appliances.
For now, two percent of its plastic pieces, or 80 of the around 3,600 construction pieces, are made of a biosourced material, a sugarcane-based polyethylene.
These pieces are mostly trees, leaves and bushes in the kits, which do not have to meet the same durability requirements as bricks, which have to stick together tightly.
It is a technical challenge, as Lego wants to ensure that customers do not notice any difference between the old plastic and any new materials.
New pieces must have the same physical properties as the old ones: strength, colour fastness and sticking power, in order to remain compatible with older pieces.
Lego refuses to divulge its production secrets, but insists it reuses its own plastic waste products in its production.