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Lego Reverses Decision to Use Recycled Bottles in Brick Production

View a plastic bottle, pellets and bricks at Lego materials and safety testing labs in Billund, Denmark taken at the end of May 2021. Note: Picture does not represent how many bricks one plastic bottle yields. One yields about ten 2x4 bricks. LEGO Group/via REUTERS

BNR – Toy behemoth Lego has decided to cancel plans to create bricks from recycled bottles. The company cited challenges in reducing carbon emissions through this method.

In 2021, Lego announced its goal of manufacturing bricks without the use of crude oil within two years.

However, the company disclosed that using this new recycled material did not result in a significant decrease in carbon emissions.

Company Remains Committed

Lego is dedicated to producing bricks using sustainable materials. Moreover, the company emphasised its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

The company is famous for its vast assortment of approximately 4,400 different bricks.

Many of the bricks are constructed from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a type of plastic derived from crude oil.

This decision is viewed as a setback for Lego after its high-profile initiative to enhance its environmental sustainability.

Like many other corporations, Lego has been exploring alternative materials to traditional plastics.

One of the primary challenges in this endeavour has been discovering a material that possesses the durability to withstand wear-and-tear.

PET Bottles to Lego Bricks

In 2021, Lego revealed prototype bricks crafted from polyethene terephthalate (PET) bottles, incorporating certain chemicals into the production process.

The hope was that this material could serve as a viable alternative to oil-based bricks.

Nevertheless, Lego has disclosed that the use of recycled PET did not result in a notable reduction in carbon emissions.

Lego attributed this outcome to the need for additional steps in the production process, which led to higher energy consumption.

In light of these findings, the company to cancel the production of bricks utilising recycled PET material.

Instead, it actively engaged in testing and developing bricks made from various alternative sustainable materials.

Lego’s CEO, Niels Christiansen, highlighted the complexity of finding a single “magic material” capable of addressing all sustainability challenges.

He also stated that they had tested numerous materials without discovering a suitable replacement.


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