Your Favorite Childhood Toy Is Getting An Eco-Friendly Makeover
The next Lego build to hit shelves? A more sustainable future. The iconic toy brand just announced it will start using bioplastics in its kits this year.
Made from sugar cane, these plant-based pieces (while still technically plastic because of the chemical process used to create it) are easier on the environment than the petroleum-based ones they're replacing. According to molecular biologist Stephen Mayfield, the update has the potential to reduce the toy's carbon footprint by up to 70 percent. Plus, new pieces will be recyclable. Lego has also pledged to source all of its sugar cane from farms that meet the WWF's Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance standards for sustainability and ethics.
The announcement plays into Lego's larger strategy for reducing environmental impact. Since establishing a Sustainable Materials center in Denmark, the manufacturer has hired a robust team to investigate eco-friendly materials and famously built a 30-foot-tall (146,000-brick) toy wind turbine to symbolize its nearly $1 billion investment in wind energy.
While the new material will only debut in Lego kits' botanical pieces like trees, bushes, and leaves, Lego hopes to make all of its products and packaging sustainably sourced by 2030.
It's the first step in a long journey for the product that New York Magazine dubbed "the perfect toy" for its continued universal appeal and ability to adapt to the times with new, fresh offerings. With 400 billion bricks in existence today and 36,000 more being manufactured every minute, this seemingly small material change could have lasting impact especially if other toy producers follow suit.
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