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New LEGO pieces made from ‘sustainable’ plastic set to go on sale later this year

LEGO’s first “sustainable” pieces are going on sale this year, but just what are they going to be made from? Allow us to explain.

The company has started building new botanical pieces – including leaves, bushes and trees – out of plant-based polyethylene. It’s a plastic made from ethanol that has been produced from sugarcane, which LEGO describes as being “soft, durable and flexible”.

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The company says the sugarcane that’s used to produce its new pieces is sourced sustainably in accordance with guidance from the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), and is certified by the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard for responsibly sourced sugarcane.

Production on the botanical pieces has already started, and they’ll begin appearing in boxes and sets later this year.

“This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental responsibility at the LEGO Group.

“Children and parents will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene.”

Around 1-2% of the total amount of plastic elements LEGO produces are made from plant-based polyethylene.

However, it is placing a heavier focus on sustainable materials going forward, which it defines as something that “must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights and climate change”.

The company is aiming to reach zero waste in operations, introduce sustainable paper pulp trays for its advent calendar, and reduce the amount of plastic waste it send to landfill by 2030.

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