Lego to phase out single-use plastic bags in packaging
The global toymaker is investing $400 million in its sustainability efforts and it will stop using plastic packaging to package loose Lego bricks.
Toymaker Lego Group will begin to phase out single-use plastic bags used in Lego boxes to package the loose bricks, as part of its plan to invest up to US$400 million over three years to accelerate sustainability and social responsibility initiatives.
The investment will cover both long-term investments and ongoing costs, the Billund, Denmark-based company said in a Sept. 15 statement.
The phase-out of single-use plastic bags is part of Lego’s goal of making all its packaging sustainable by the end of 2025. Beginning in 2021, Forest Stewardship Council-certified recyclable paper bags will be trialed in boxes.
The move away from plastic bags was complex, Lego said, and came after the company received what it calls “many letters from children” asking for alternatives to single-use plastic. “Several prototypes made from a range of different sustainable materials have so far been tested with hundreds of parents and children,” the statement said. “Children liked the paper bags being trialed in 2021 as they were environmentally friendly and easy to open.”
In addition to developing and implementing sustainable materials, the investment “will also focus on a range of social and environmentally focused actions to inspire children through learning through play, making the business more circular, and achieving carbon neutral operations,” Lego said. “The activity will drive meaningful, long-term change aligned to two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education and Responsible Consumption and Production.”
Additionally, work will continue the company’s Sustainable Materials Program, which employs more than 150 experts, to create sustainable products and packaging. “In 2015, the Group set a target to make its products from sustainable materials by 2030,” the statement said. “It will expand its use of bio-bricks, such as those made from sugar cane, which currently account for almost 2 per cent of its element portfolio.”
Lego also said it will continue research into new, more sustainable plastics from renewable and recycled sources, and join forces with research institutes and other companies especially those developing new recycling and bio-based material production technologies to find materials which are as durable and high quality as those used now. The planned investments include both costs associated with the development of new sustainable materials and the investments in manufacturing equipment.