Children all over the world have spent countless hours building creations dreamed up from their imaginations with Lego bricks. Parents all over the world also know the pain one of those tiny bricks can inflict on the arch of a barefoot at two in the morning. Perhaps Lego will take this pain into consideration when they revise their manufacturing process.
In an effort to become more environmentally friendly, The Lego Group has announced it is planning to replace the plastic used in its popular bricks with something more sustainable. Though they don’t know what the material will be yet, it is certainly a bold move.
Since 1963, Lego has been using a plastic substance known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene to build their popular bricks. This results in a virtually indestructible toy for children, giving them a toy they can have at a relatively young age and continue to use as they grow up. As far as value is concerned, it certainly gives parents an affordable option to buy for their children without feeling like they are skimping on quality. Of course, using all of this plastic means they produce quite a significant carbon footprint.
When considering ways they could minimize their carbon footprint, Lego realized only about 10 percent comes from the actual factories producing the bricks. This means the manufacturing process doesn’t require much energy, which leaves them plenty of room to improve. On the other hand, the extraction and refinement of the plastic takes a huge toll on the environment, which they hope to diminish through a new research effort.
Over the next decade or so, Lego plans to hire around 100 specialists and spend around $1 billion to come up with a viable alternative for the plastic they currently use. It is their hope they can come up with a sustainable, durable, long-lasting material while greatly reducing their carbon footprint. They believe eliminating the plastic from their toys will go a long way to building a better future for children, and they are willing to pay a pretty penny to accomplish this. Still, without any idea of what this sustainable material might be, their claim of having a plastic-free toy by 2030 seems like a bold move.
Of course, this isn’t the first step Lego has taken to make their products more eco-friendly. In fact, they have recently made changes in their packaging to cut back on some of the materials used and also invested in a wind farm to help negate some of their energy use. Companies like this feel people need to take responsibility for the environment, and they are willing to pay to make it happen.