LEGO’s been on the material sustainability kick for well on several years now. One can safely say that the toy megabrand’s efforts go well beyond mere lip service. When their products are made of lots of plastic, LEGO owes it to the environment. Thus the company has been studying various alternative raw materials for their bricks and pieces. One example would be using plant-based materials for LEGO plant elements. Then in the middle of this year, LEGO produced a prototype brick from recycled PET plastic. It’s a start and there’s still a long way to go, but their breakthrough just got some major media recognition.
According to The Brick Fan, LEGO got a mention in the 100 Best Inventions of 2021 by TIME magazine. The citation mentioned LEGO’s long-term pledge to make their bricks out of sustainable materials by 2030. And their triumphant prototype brick introduced back in June was the result of three years of research. The aforementioned piece is touted as being identical to the feel of a regularly-molded LEGO brick. With the process now proven possible, the company could begin increasing use of sustainable pieces in their sets. This immediate goal has been given a timetable of about 18 to 24 months.
To give a perspective, TIME notes that LEGO’s annual manufacture of plastic resin for their products is 100,000 metric tons. Why make lots of new plastic that could go to waste when waste plastic could be recycled? We wish LEGO luck in implementing their breakthrough, and congratulate their inclusion in TIME’s 100 Best Inventions 2021.