The Danish brick builder have made a breakthrough on their journey to move away from oil-based plastics. A prototype has been unveiled of a brick made from recycled bottles.
The goal set by LEGO is to eliminate all oil-based plastics from the 75 billion pieces it produces by 2030, but has struggled to find recycled material that matches the famous “clutch power” of its original bricks, allowing them to remain tightly together but fairly easy to take apart.
The Danish group said it expected to start selling recycled plastic bricks in 18-24 months after further testing.
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Their breakthrough involves Using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from discarded plastic drink bottles, a one litre container giving around ten 2×4 Lego bricks.
“The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong and high-quality as our existing bricks, and that fit with the Lego elements manufactured over the past 60 years. With this prototype, we can show the progress we are making, ”said Tim Brooks, Lego’s head of environmental responsibility.
Lego currently needs 2 kg of oil for every 1 kg of ABS plastic granules, which it uses for 80-85 percent of all its bricks. Outside experts say that 1 kg of ABS costs the toy maker around $ 1, which it turns into sets selling for around $ 75 a kg.
All new Lego materials must interact with each other and must also work with all previous versions of bricks dating back decades making their task a tad tricky.
The Danish outfit said it expected to start selling recycled plastic bricks in 18-24 months after further testing.