Some Lego trees and plants will be made from sugarcane-based plastic as part of sustainability efforts, the toymaker announced on Friday.
The forest pieces only make up one or two percent of the toy company’s entire line of building blocks.
They are part of the Lego Group’s larger initiative to use sustainable materials in all of its core products and packaging by 2030. The company defines sustainable as materials which have “an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights, and climate change.” They have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to focus on finding “new bio-based materials.”
“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.
According to the World Watch Institute, about 8 percent of global petroleum consumption comes from plastic and the plastic-making process.
The Lego Group’s plant-based plastic is certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard for sugarcane sourcing.
Making sustainable bricks look like the ones that have been appearing in Lego boxes for years presented a bit of a design challenge: early tests produced bricks that didn’t match the shiny, vivid colors of standard pieces.