LEGO introduces plant-based plastic plant pieces

Stepping bare-footed on a piece of Lego has never been enjoyable, but if it’s up to Lego, at least the next time it will be a piece made from a more sustainable material! The company announced that botanical Lego elements, such as leaves, bushes and trees, will be made from plant-based plastic made from sugarcane and will be on sale later this year.

Ordinary pieces of Lego are made from a very strong and resilient petroleum-based plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Under pressure of environmental groups, Lego invested 1 billion DKK in searching fro a sustainable alternative to this plastic in 2015.

That alternative is found in polyethylene, a soft, durable and flexible plastic based on sugarcane material. The first pieces made of this material will be botanical elements, such as trees and leaves. According to Lego, the consumer will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new pieces, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene.

The bioplastic is developed in collaboration with WWF and uses certified responsibly sourced sugarcane.

The botanical elements only make up 1-2 per cent of the total amount of plastic elements. However, the move is part of Lego’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030, so we can probably expect biobased bricks soon.

Photos: Lego / Alan Chia