Lego to Start Using Sustainable, Plant-Based Plastic

The Danish toy manufacturer announced last week that it is committed to using more renewable materials in their core products.

As CNBC has previously reported, Danish-based toy manufacturer Lego will launch a new line of sustainable, plant-based plastics later this year– a move that comes at a time when it is believed there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean.

The plant-based polyethylene proposed for this new product will be sourced from sugarcane to make a plastic-like material with the same structural properties as true polyethylene. (Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and is not invasive– unlike bamboo, for which it is occasionally mistaken. According to MIT Technology Review, it’s also just as cheap to make plastic from sugar cane as it is to make it from petroleum, a boon to both business and the environment.)

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“We are proud that the first Lego elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in Lego boxes this year,” said Tim Brooks, Lego’s vice president for environmental responsibility. “This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials.”

Lego is aiming for zero waste operations as part of its membership in the RE100— a consortium of the world’s most influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power. Lego has also committed to using sustainable materials in all of its products by 2030– a noble goal towards which using sugarcane based plastic is a first step.

Lego joins a handful of high-profile companies that are finally beginning to embrace sustainability as a cornerstone of their new business model. Apple, IKEA, Adobe, and Burberry have all made 100% renewable pledges– and more and more companies are joining the pledge every day.

Looking for ways to reduce your own plastic use? Consider doing a plastic cleanseusing compostable “plastic” bags, or consider making one of these 10 easy pledges to better the environment.

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