Amid the threat of overuse of plastic and the accumulation of waste it poses, LEGO has just announced moves to make its classic bricks more sustainable. For this reason, throughout 2018 it will launch the first LEGO pieces made with bioplastic. In addition, as in a wink that underlines the change, the new material will be used precisely in botanical elements such as leaves, shrubs or trees.
With this, that universe that LEGO offers so that each one “creates their own world through play and inventiveness” will henceforth be more in line with the principles of environmental sustainability. For this, the Danish firm created in the 1930s has already started to manufacture the new parts. Its material, in this case, will be polyethylene plastic obtained from ethanol which, in turn, will be based on sugar cane.
Going to this source considered sustainable by the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance will not imply changes in the quality and durability of the product. “Neither children nor parents will notice any difference regarding the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene, ” says Tim Brooks, vice president of Environmental Responsibility for the LEGO group.
The initiative, which will jump into the LEGO boxes this year, is part of the strategy undertaken by the group to use more sustainable materials both in its packages and in its products by 2030. “We want to have a positive impact on the world that surrounds us ” , argues Brooks before underlining the pride that takes the first sustainable LEGO bricks are close to their launch. “It’s a great first step in our commitment to sustainable LEGO pieces . “
But what is a sustainable material for LEGO? According to the firm, it is the one with a lower carbon footprint than the material it replaces. His vision ranges from reducing the use of fossil sources to climate change and human rights. However, what has not been mentioned for now has been the recycling possibilities of these LEGO pieces based on sugar cane. In this sense, The Guardian does point out that, as bioplastics, they can be recycled several times, although it is not likely that these bricks are 100% biodegradable, according to the aforementioned medium.
LEGO, which is part of the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance, is currently testing its new pieces to ensure that they meet the firm’s quality and safety standards. Additionally, the botanical and green LEGO elements will be certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody. “It is a huge opportunity to reduce dependency on finite resources , ” they point out from the conservation group WWF, with which the Danish company has previously collaborated.