Danish toy company Lego has revealed a new range of pieces made from sugar cane-based plastic. The collection, which will include trees, bushes and leaves, will appear in Lego sets later this year.
The plant-based polyethylene plastic used for the new botanical toys is made using ethanol extracted from sustainably sourced sugar cane. Both flexible and durable, the material is almost identical to other plastics currently in use by Lego but, although not entirely biodegradable, can be repeatedly recycled.
“This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment to making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, vice president of Environmental Responsibility at the Lego Group. “We want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials.”
At the moment polyethylene elements make up only 1-2% of the toy brand’s products but the company has committed to use sustainable materials in its core toys and packaging (and to reach zero waste in its operations) by 2030. It has also collaborated with WWF to launch a campaign to encourage use and demand for bioplastics and joined the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance to support a considered approach to sourcing the raw materials needed for production.