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News & Press: Industry

LEGO Struggles to Find a Plant-Based Plastic That Clicks

Monday, June 17, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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Lego A/S has spent the past seven years trying to make its blocks with plastic derived from plants, but it keeps hitting brick walls.

Lego tried making pieces from corn, but they were too soft. Its wheat-based bricks didn’t absorb color evenly or have the requisite shine. Bricks made from other materials proved too hard to pull apart, broke or had what executives call “creep,” when bricks lose their grip and collapse.

“It’s a bit like putting the man on the moon,” says Tim Guy Brooks, Lego’s head of environmental responsibility, of the toy maker’s quest to make bricks from plants. “When Kennedy said he wanted to put a man on the moon, lots of the technology and requirements didn’t exist. We need to go out and build that.”

The world’s biggest toy maker in 2012 pledged to find and start using sustainable alternatives to its raw materials by 2030. Realizing the scale of the challenge, it later invested $150 million to hire scientists and fund research and development.

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