“In the Brazilian tropical air, a sugar cane is slowly waving, waiting for its next adventure…”
In an industry that is sometimes hard to explain, the work that LEGO are doing should not be underestimated. Their movement to manufacture their bricks using sustainable, plant materials, when complete, will be a huge moment for the whole bio-economy. This process is not set to be complete until 2030, but this Spring, saw the first LEGO pieces made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane go on sale (and sell very quickly). These LEGO ‘botanical’ elements come in varieties including leaves, bushes and trees and are made from polyethylene, a soft, durable and flexible plastic, and while they are based on sugar-cane material, they are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic. The elements have been tested to ensure the plant-based plastic meets the high standards for quality and safety that the LEGO Group has, and consumers expect from LEGO products.
“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 ( @LEGO_Group ) on the day of the products release.
And to help explain the new ingredient, and create some further excitement, they’ve created this little video…
“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,” concluded Brooks.
We learn more about the new LEGO bio-based crew in this video...
About LEGO elements made from plants:
- Polyethylene elements are 1-2% of the total amount of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group; The sustainable product range covers LEGO® botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees made entirely from plant-based plastic.
- Plant-based polyethylene used in LEGO elements is made from ethanol produced from sugarcane.
- The sugarcane used is sourced sustainably in accordance with guidance from the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) and is certified following global standards for responsibly sourced sugarcane.
- All suppliers must comply with the LEGO Group’s Code of Conduct, which specifies strict requirements for ethical, environmental and health & safety standards based on leading global guidelines.
- The LEGO Group works closely with its suppliers to ensure life-cycle assessments are conducted, which map the environmental impacts from the production of the bio-based material.
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