Lego: toymaker scraps plans to make bricks from recycled bottles - claiming it would increase emissions
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Lego has reportedly cancelled plans to start making bricks out of recycled drink bottles – saying the new material would create higher carbon emissions than its current oil-based plastic.
The Danish toy giant announced in 2021 it was researching whether it could start making its iconic bricks our of PET plastic - or polyethylene terephthalate - which does not degrade in quality when recycled.
If it worked, PA reports the material could have replaced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), made from crude oil, which is currently used in Lego pieces.
But on Monday (25 September) after two years of experimentation, the company announced it has called quits on the plan, and would instead be looking to improve the carbon footprint of its current ABS plastic instead.
The firm told the Financial Times that the oil-free PET plastic would cause higher carbon emissions over the product’s lifetime, as it required new equipment.
“It’s like trying to make a bike out of wood rather than steel," he added.
Chief executive Niels Christiansen told the Financial Times the company had hoped there would be a “magic material” that would solve its sustainability issues. “We tested hundreds and hundreds of materials. It’s just not been possible to find a material like that," he said.
Sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions have become increasingly important to consumers, with more and more voting with their wallets as the impacts of both climate change and microplastics become more apparent
A spokesperson for the company told the BBC that Lego remains "fully committed to making Lego bricks from sustainable materials by 2032".
"We are investing more than $1.2 billion in sustainability initiatives in the four years to 2025 as part of our efforts to transition to more sustainable materials and reduce our carbon emissions by 37% by 2032," they said.