LEGO is on its way to being more environmentally friendly.
Lego still wants children to have fun with their blocks, but not at the environment’s expense.
The main raw material for its blocks is acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), which is a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile synthesized in the presence of polybutadiene rubber.
The Denmark-based LEGO Group has announced its plan to find a more “sustainable” material to replace the plastic that it is currently using in its bricks by 2030. The company will be investing more than $150 million to establish a LEGO Sustainable Materials Center that will have more than 100 employees.
LEGO goes green — sustainable material to replace plastic bricks:
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO and President of the LEGO Group, said: “This is a major step for the LEGO Group on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials. We have already taken important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet by reducing the packaging size, by introducing FSC certified packaging, and through our investment in an offshore wind farm. Now we are accelerating our focus on materials.”
According to C&EN, there were 77,000 metric tons of raw materials that were used to create more than 60 billion LEGO pieces in 2014 alone.
LEGO was not saying whether it was planning to use a bio-based version of ABS or if it had plans to switch to a new polymer altogether. The firm told C&EN it was “looking at all options. Selection will be based on material source, chemical composition, how the material can be managed at the end of its life, and its societal impact.”
“Our mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We believe that our main contribution to this is through the creative play experiences we provide to children. The investment announced is a testament to our continued ambition to leave a positive impact on the planet, which future generations will inherit. It is certainly in line with the mission of the LEGO Group and in line with the motto of my grandfather and founder of the LEGO Group, Ole Kirk Kristiansen: Only the best is good enough,” said Kristiansen in a statement.
It is probably a bit late, but as they say, better late than never.