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Turning Recycled Plastic Into Lego Bricks?

August 13, 2021
Image via Lego.com

LEGOs—they’re a revolutionary toy that’s beloved by young and old alike for many, many generations. And why not? We’re talking about endless ways to build and expand one’s imagination simply by attaching a few bricks together. But these plastic bricks have become a big problem for planet Earth. As more and more bricks are purchased, more and more plastic is produced. It’s a problem that LEGO is both aware of and wants to solve. So, what is LEGO doing to solve its plastic problem? LEGO is encouraging customers to donate LEGOs that they are no longer playing with and vowing to pack all LEGO sets in recyclable paper bags instead of plastic bags by 2025. The company is also working on creating brick pieces out of biodegradable and recycled products. Despite some initial failures in making bricks out of biodegradable materials, such as sugar and corn, LEGO hasn’t given up.

Why?

Tim Brooks, the Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at LEGO said it best: “We know kids care about the environment and want us to make our products more sustainable. Even though it will be a while before they will be able to play with bricks made from recycled plastic, we want to let kids know we’re working on it and bring them along on the journey with us. Experimentation and failing is an important part of learning and innovation. Just as kids build, unbuild and rebuild with LEGO bricks at home, we’re doing the same in our lab.”

What Now?

Recently, LEGO announced a successful prototype of their LEGO bricks made of recycled plastic. This recycled plastic is made out of plastic bottles. A one liter bottle can produce approximately ten 2×4 bricks. While this is progress and the company is quite excited about the potential of this recycled material, there’s still more testing to be done before they can be sure that this material meets its high standards.

Have additional thoughts to share with LEGO? The company’s listening!