Lego is planning to start manufacturing botanical elements with plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane later this year.
The move is part of LEGO’s goal to use only sustainable materials in their packaging and core products by the end of the next decade.
The new elements will be made by utilizing plastic polyethylene created from ethanol produced by sugarcane. Tim Brooks, VP of LEGOs Environmental Responsibility explained that the sugarcane-based polyethylene possesses identical properties to regular polyethylene. There will be no noticeable difference in the quality of look of the new elements.
While LEGO is keen to push its move to ‘sustainable materials’ the term should not be confused with biodegradable. The new blocks will not ‘rot’ and will be as difficult to recycle as existing materials. However, that also means they have the same expected 75 years lifespan as the existing plastic.
According to LEGO the move does mean that “new sustainable material must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights, and climate change”.
LEGO says it will be using sustainably sourced sugarcane and is working off guidance from the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance to secure the quality of its supply-chain.
While new elements using plant-based plastic will make their way into LEGO boxes by the end of 2018 LEGO is promoting their move by giving away set #40320 (“Plants from Plants”) for free with any purchase over $40 from their official online stores in the UK, Germany, and Austria between August 1 and August 17, and in the USA and Canada between August 1 and August 14.
Love Lego? Enter our latest Lego Giveaway
Want to win a 3,900 piece LEGO Excavator? Head over to our latest LEGO competition now to enter for free.