LEGO Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles Will No Longer be a Thing

lego made from recycled plastic

In a surprising turn of events, the LEGO Group has announced that it has recently abandoned its initial commitment of providing LEGO made from recycled plastic bottles.

This decision has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions about the true environmental impact of such a shift. Let’s look into why LEGO had a change of heart and explore its quest for sustainability.

Sustainability Is Not Possible With LEGO Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

lego made from recycled plastic

LEGO initially made headlines in 2021 by announcing its intention to transition to recycled plastic bottles as source material for its bricks. However, the company is now retracting that promise, citing concerns over the sustainability of plastic bottles. According to a report by CBS News, LEGO expressed its decision not to proceed with this plan, emphasizing that it did not contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Backtracking on Plastic Bottles

The backtrack on plastic bottles is a notable shift for LEGO. The company disclosed its groundbreaking endeavor when it unveiled its first brick crafted from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) obtained from recycled bottles.

Unfortunately, it seems that the recycling of bottles into LEGO bricks did not meet the company’s expectations in terms of environmental benefits. Despite this setback, LEGO is not giving up on its sustainability goals.

Before this, LEGO had already delved into using plant-based components made from sustainably sourced sugarcane. This means that the impact on the environment caused by producing plastic bricks was significantly lower as compared to their usual methods of creating ABS plastic.

lego made from recycled plastic

But this seems not to be the case with LEGO made from recycled plastic bottles or those made from polyethylene terephthalate or PET. After more than two years of testing, LEGO eventually realized through numerous tests that moving forward with LEGO made from recycled plastic bottles didn’t reduce carbon emissions.

Seeking Sustainable Alternatives

LEGO is actively exploring alternative sustainable materials for its iconic bricks and aims to achieve this transition by 2032. Even though pushing through with LEGO made from recycled plastic bottles proved to be an eventual setback, LEGO, as a socially responsible company, is still committed to testing and developing other sustainable sources.

A History of Sustainability

LEGO’s journey toward sustainable manufacturing didn’t begin in 2021. Back in 2018, the company made significant strides by announcing its utilization of sugarcane-based bioplastics. While sugarcane represents a more sustainable option compared to traditional plastic derived from fossil fuels, it possesses different characteristics, being softer and more flexible. As a result, LEGO has primarily employed sugarcane plastic in its lineup of plant-shaped bricks, particularly with the introduction of its Plants from Plants (40320) promotional set back in 2018.

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The 2018 promotional item LEGO Plants From Plants 40320 was the first-ever set made from plant-based materials for its plastics.

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The decision to step back from LEGO made from recycled plastic bottles underscores the LEGO Group’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. While this specific avenue may not have yielded the desired results, LEGO’s exploration of alternative sustainable materials signifies a dedication to finding more eco-friendly solutions for its iconic products.

So what do you think of this move? Do you agree with LEGO in ditching its plans of creating bricks and pieces from recycled PET bottles? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Albert Balanza

Teacher, student, dad, AFOL, psych geek & everything in between. :)

One thought on “LEGO Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles Will No Longer be a Thing”

  1. For anyone not blinded by the Green Movement this really isn’t a surprise. Plastic [mainly water & Soda] bottle manufacturers aren’t going to use the best quality material when making their bottles but the absolute cheapest that will meet any government regulatory requirements. If TLG is going to re-use plastic it’s got to be of a minimal quality that few if any plastic bottles could ever come close to meeting. It’s more surprising that they’ve not been able to find a more environmentally friendly option to ABS but even if they can’t it’s so miniscule in the grand scheme of things and unlike other manufacturers of plastic objects TLG makes something that rarely finds it’s way into landfills b/c it’s quality ensures a solid & healthy used market. That’s not to say no LEGO bricks are ever found in the trash or recycling bins but that most building blocks found in trash/recycle are the cheaper made LEGO knock-offs and not LEGO itself.

    Trying to use recycled water bottles to replace ABS for LEGO bricks was either just a PR stunt and or a fools errand.

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