Our ambition is to make LEGO® bricks from more sustainable sources without compromising on quality or safety. This is a bold ambition as we need to develop sustainable materials that are safe and strong enough to be passed down through generations. A LEGO brick of the future needs to fit seamlessly with a brick made over 60 years ago.
For the LEGO Group, a sustainable material must be responsibly produced, using renewable or recycled resources, generate little or no waste, use more sustainable chemistry – while meeting our high standards for safety, quality and durability.
We are joining forces with suppliers, research institutions and other industries to develop these new materials.
In 2018, we started making LEGO® elements from bio-polyethylene (bio-PE) – a soft, durable and flexible plastic derived from Brazilian sugarcane. Bio-based content is a key part of our journey towards making LEGO bricks and other elements from more sustainable sources, alongside other material solutions.
We’re experimenting with making our bricks and elements from recycled materials to help lower our impact on the environment. We’ve tested over 300 materials and have trials underway to develop recycled materials across our portfolio. Not all materials will make it through, but we are excited to test and learn on our innovative journey!
In 2021, the LEGO Group began to purchase sustainable materials based on the mass balance principle. Mass balance is a model used by some suppliers that will increase the amount of renewable and recycled input in our source materials. Our suppliers mix input from virgin fossil sources with certified renewable and recycled sources, to produce the material used to make LEGO® products.
This approach is part of our aim to drive the sustainable materials industry forward.
In 2021 we had an exciting breakthrough and created a protype brick made from PET plastic bottles. However, after two years of continuous development it did not deliver the overall carbon reduction required to realise our ambitions.
We’re proud of our achievements with the prototype and will apply the learnings as we continue to develop new materials and explore other ways to make our bricks more sustainable.