LEGO botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018.
The new LEGO elements are made from polyethylene, produced from sugar-cane instead of oil. Just to clarify, the end-product is still plastic – but the source is renewable. Polyethylene elements are 1-2% of the total amount of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group; The sustainable product range covers LEGO botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees made entirely from plant-based plastic.
It’s not easy to get a clear answer which material choices are the ultimate ones for the planet. Several aspects influence the sustainability of a material. It is to a high degree determined by its source, chemical composition, its use (in a product) and management (at end-of-life), and the impact it can have in both environmental and social areas.
Though “sustainable material” can be a loose term, Lego notes that it believes the new material must “have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces.” This is considered across impact areas like fossil fuel use, human rights, and climate change. Lego also has investments in wind power and has introduced paper pulp trays for its Lego advent calendars, which reduces plastic waste in landfills. These moves are part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.