Innovation That Matters

Sustainable toys

Sustainable toy pieces are made from plants


LEGO has announced a new range of plant-shaped pieces made from sustainable sugar cane

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The use of plastic packaging by global companies has come under increasing scrutiny. In January, eleven corporate giants, including Amcor, Unilever, Walmart, Coca-Cola and Mars, pledged to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier. At Springwise, we have covered a host of initiatives and innovations designed to reduce the amount of plastic waste, including edible straws made from seaweed and biodegradable plastic made from food waste. Now, Danish toymaker LEGO has announced that it will begin reducing its use of plastic by offering LEGO pieces made from a sustainable, plant-based material.

LEGO has begun production on a new range of pieces made from polyethylene – a flexible plastic made out of ethanol extracted from sugar cane. LEGO claims the new material is produced from sustainably sourced sugarcane and is as durable as conventional plastic. The company has set a target of using sustainable materials in all of its core products and packaging by 2030. Explains Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group, “At the LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us … This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials.”

According to LEGO, the new plant-based elements are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic. “Children and parents will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene,” said Brooks. The new polyethylene range will make up around 1 to 2 percent of the total number of plastic pieces LEGO produces, and will initially include botanical pieces such as leaves, bushes and trees. The sustainable LEGO pieces will be available in box sets starting later this year. In what other ways could companies cut down on the amount of plastic they use?




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