LEGO is producing its first plant-based pieces, made from plastic sourced from sugar cane, and plans to put them on sale later in 2018. The first elements made from sustainable sources will be a variety of botanical elements: leaves, bushes and trees made from polyethylene will be the first sustainable LEGO pieces that kids will find on toy stores’ shelves.
At the moment, the new sustainable elements will account for only 1–2% of the total amount produced, but the Danish company’s goal is that by 2030, LEGO’s core products and packages will all be made from environmentally friendly materials.
“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. We are proud that the first LEGO elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in LEGO boxes this year. This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.
In order to support and build demand for sustainably sourced plastic, LEGO Group collaborated with WWF and the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) to ensure a fully sustainable sourcing of sugar cane.
Alix Grabowski, a senior program officer at WWF, applauded LEGO Group’s decision to start using sustainably sourced bio-based plastics, pointing out that this is an incredible opportunity to reduce dependence on finite resources, while stressing the importance of more companies using materials that are responsibly sourced.
Even though the way LEGO elements will be made has changed, their design and quality have remained the same. LEGO Group underwent extensive testing of all the new sustainable elements to ensure that the new pieces will feature the same characteristics as the ones made from conventional polyethylene. Old and new LEGO bricks will still fit together, even if their production date is decades apart.