Building a Sustainable Future from Lego Bricks

Lego, the beloved Denmark-based toymaker, has committed to turn all of its bricks “green” by the year 2030. 

Founded in 1932, Lego has been a household name for nearly a century, allowing children to build, create and expand their imagination. The company sells around 75 billion bricks every year globally with sets covering everything from pirate ships to Hogwarts to the world’s most iconic buildings. Aside from the toys themselves, the company has a chain of eight theme-parks worldwide, with future parks currently under construction. The brand is famously endorsed by nation’s sweetheart David Beckham who builds thousand-piece masterpieces of the tiny bricks to help channel his OCD. However, when it comes to being eco-friendly, Lego’s 100% plastic-based product is about as bad as you can get. 

Currently the small colourful bricks prevalent in the majority of children’s playrooms are made entirely from plastic. Specifically, the plastic is made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, derived from crude oil – one of the environment’s biggest enemies. In the past, Lego has partnered with oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, even incorporating and promoting the company’s logo in some of their lego sets. The most recent deal between Lego and Shell was valued in the region of $116 million. Unsurprisingly, Lego has famously faced backlash and pressure from environmental groups including Greenpeace, imploring them to end their partnerships with oil companies. 

Now, Lego has claimed that, in a quest to be more sustainable, the company will be exploring alternative materials that are more sustainable and more kind to the environment. This is not the first step for Lego in becoming more “green”. Back in 2015, Lego invested $1 billion in order to research sustainable Lego bricks. However, only a paltry proportion (2%) of Lego bricks on sale today, are made of sustainable materials. Now, they are seemingly back on track and are exploring sustainable alternatives including sugar cane and wood, whilst maintaining their characteristic multi-coloured bricks. 

Lego is once again investing large sums and partnering with different stakeholders, researchers and scientists in order to develop more environmentally-friendly toys setting themselves the deadline of 2030. This is just one of many companies who have recently presented plans to become more green within the decade.