LEGO discontinues bricks made of recycled plastic bottles due to carbon emissions

LEGO discontinues bricks made of recycled plastic bottles due to carbon emissions

Goodbye LEGO bricks made of recycled plastic bottles

 

LEGO will no longer produce bricks made from recycled plastic bottles due to concerns that this process leads to more carbon emissions than its current oil-based manufacturing process. Apart from requiring new machinery that could harm the environment, the plastic bricks were not sturdy enough and could not hold together. This decision comes two years after LEGO first introduced bricks made from PET plastic and sourced from discarded bottles. The use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was intended as an alternative to the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) currently used in its production.

 

LEGO’s decision to cease using recycled plastic bottles coincides with the Group’s CEO joining other Danish businesses in calling for companies and policymakers to shift toward a green transition for a net-zero future. In August 2023, the company pledged to work with the Science-Based Targets initiative to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions) by 2050. By no longer producing LEGO bricks using recycled plastic bottles, LEGO may be able to reduce its carbon emissions. The company is currently testing other recycled plastic alternatives including the ones made from e-methanol, according to a Euronews report.

lego bricks recycled plastic bottles
images by LEGO

 

 

No carbon emissions reduction even after 3 years

 

A LEGO spokesperson who spoke with CNN said that the company found that using recycled plastic bottles to make LEGO bricks did not reduce their carbon emissions, even after more than three years of testing. By removing this material from their list of materials, the LEGO spokesperson added that it does not mean they are abandoning their mission to make LEGO bricks from sustainable materials by 2032.

 

The recycled prototype brick is the latest innovation aimed at making the products of the LEGO Group more environmentally friendly. The company declared it would begin eliminating single-use plastic from its boxes in 2020. In 2018, they began producing components from bio-polyethylene (bio-PE), derived from sugarcane. Many LEGO kits contain bio-PE components, suitable for producing smaller, softer parts like trees, branches, leaves, and mini figure accessories. However, Bio-PE cannot be used to create tougher, more durable materials like the current LEGO bricks.

lego bricks recycled plastic bottles
LEGO discontinues bricks made of recycled plastic bottles due to carbon emissions

lego bricks recycled plastic bottles
the plastic production leads to more carbon emissions than its current oil-based manufacturing process

lego bricks recycled plastic bottles
the LEGO bricks are also dubbed as not sturdy enough

lego bricks recycled plastic bottles
the plastic-based bricks also lack the property to stick together

lego-bricks-recycled-plastic-bottles-carbon-emissions-designboom-ban

LEGO discontinues bricks made of recycled plastic bottles due to carbon emissions

 

project info:

 

name: LEGO abandons recycled plastic bottles

company: LEGO

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