LEGO to launch sustainable plastic elements in 2018
By Canadian Packaging staffSustainability Plastic BFA Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance bioplastics Bonsucro Chain of Custody LEGO GROUP responsible-sourced sugracane sugarcane plastic World Wildlife Fund WWF
Danish toy building block firm LEGO says about one to two percent of its botanical-themed elements will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane.
The LEGO GROUP says it will produce pieces made with sugarcane ethanol to make up one to two percent of the total plastic building toy pieces it produces annually, beginning in 2018.
The new sustainable LEGO pieces will take the form of botanical pieces such as leaves, bushes and trees.
LEGO Group vice-president of environmental responsibility Tim Brooks says: “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.”
The move is part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.
The new sustainable LEGO elements are still made of PE (polyethylene)—a soft, flexible and durable plastic, but rather than being conventionally-produced oil-based, they are based on sugarcane material.
“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,” says Brooks.
Next up for LEGO is to see if it can produce the actual hard toy bricks that need to be able to maintain its robustness when snapping together or being pried apart—the building components that make up the vast majority of its toy system.
The LEGO Group has partnered with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) to support and build demand for sustainably sourced plastic, and has joined the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), an initiative of the WWF, to secure fully-sustainable sourcing of raw material for the bioplastics industry. The plant based plastic used to make the botanical LEGO elements is certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard for responsibly sourced sugarcane.
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 by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard 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.
More information about LEGO can be found at www.LEGO.com.