The LEGO Group today announced that the production of sustainable LEGO® elements, from plant based plastics, has begun. Sourced from sugarcane, these elements include leaves, trees and bushes.
In 2015, the company began investing 1 Billion DKK in its source for sustainable materials and packaging, including a search for appropriate plastics that were sourced from non-oil based sources.
The first of the sustainable elements are made from polyethylene. This soft and durable plastic, based on sugarcane, has the same characteristics as the conventional plastics. Indeed these elements have been made of polyethylene, from non sustainable sources, for years and currently account for 1-2% of the total number of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group. The plant based polyethylene is made from ethanol produced from sugarcane. This sugarcane is sourced sustainably in accordance with guidance from the Bioplastic Feedback Allaiance – an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund, and is certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard, for responsibly sourced sugarcane.
This chain of custody ensures the monitoring of sustainable and certified volumes, enables traceable information to be transferred to the next supply chain step, which in turn ensures that the sustainability claims are valid.
“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.
LEGO products have always been about providing high quality play experiences giving every child the chance to shape their own world through inventive play. 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.”
– Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.
As it moves to a more sustainable future, the LEGO Group believe that new materials must have an everlighter environmental footprint than the product it is replacing.
This is just part of the road to a sustainable future, as the LEGO Group continues to invest in new initiatives. Last May, the LEGO Group achieved its goal to balance 100% of its energy use with energy from renewable sources, particularly through its investment in offshore wind farms. Last year, the LEGO Advent Calendars featured paper pulp rather than plastic trays, to reduce the impact on landfill.
Research continues to identify a suitably sustainable for the ABS plastic which makes up the majority of ‘hard’ plastic LEGO elements.
As the company strives towards becoming reaching its sustainability goals by 2030, I would encourage you all to…