The Danish toymaker said in a statement on Tuesday that the new bags are starting to appear in LEGO boxes starting in 2021, as part of a $ 400 million investment in sustainability initiatives over the next three years. The bags have been under development for the last two years.
“We receive many letters from children asking why we still use disposable plastic in our boxes, which inspired us to start making this change,” said Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental responsibility at LEGO. “This is part of our ambition to make all our packaging sustainable by the end of 2025,” he added.
Sustainably produced LEGO bricks must be as safe, durable and technically sound as the plastic range with identical color fastness and compatibility with older bricks, Brooks told CNN Business.
LEGO said Tuesday that they are working with research institutes and other companies to find materials that are as durable and of high quality as plastic.
The company aims to produce all of its products from sustainable materials by 2030 and said it will increase the use of “biostones”, such as those made from plant-based materials such as sugar cane, which currently accounts for about 80 of its 3,600 pieces, or approx. 2%.
“We’re in a plastic pollution crisis and all businesses need to reduce their plastic consumption,” said Emma Priestland, global business campaign coordinator at Break Free From Plastic, a global lobby group whose members include Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.
“While it’s great to see a company facing the damage caused by disposable and actionable plastic packaging, LEGO’s entire business is plastic – so they have to go the extra mile to be truly sustainable,” Priestland added.
LEGO said it will expand LEGO Replay, which will allow customers to donate used bricks to children in need, to Canada and another country beyond the United States by the end of 2022. Nearly all customers surveyed by the company prefer to stick to their LEGO sets or pass them on themselves, according to Brooks, who said bricks made today still fit those made four decades ago.