Lego to launch sustainable, plant-based plastic pieces

  • The plant-based polyethylene will have the same properties as conventional polyethylene.
  • Sourced from sugarcane, production of the new pieces is already underway.

Toy manufacturer Lego has announced it is to make some of its pieces, including leaves, bushes and trees, from sustainable, plant-based plastic.

The material will be sourced from sugarcane and production of the pieces, or "elements," has already started. They will be launched this year, the Danish business said Thursday.

"We are proud that the first Lego elements made from sustainably-sourced plastic are in production and will be in Lego boxes this year," Tim Brooks, the Lego Group's vice president for environmental responsibility, said in a statement. "This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials."

The new pieces are to be made from a flexible, soft and durable plastic called polyethylene. Lego said that despite being based on sugarcane, quality would be maintained. "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," Brooks said.

Lego is targeting zero waste in operations and has committed to use sustainable materials in its core products and packaging by 2030. The business is also a member of the RE100, a global initiative made up of some of the world's biggest companies that is committed to renewable power.