Lego looking to build a future away from plastic

Toy company Lego, plans to invest one billion kroner on research and development in a bid to establish a more environmentally sustainable material with which to produce the much-loved building bricks.

The Danish family-owned company announced recently that they will plough the hefty investment into discovering an alternative, and more eco-friendly material to replace the enormous volume of plastic used in their production.

The company, which produced over 60 billion bricks last year, said that finding an alternative should significantly reduce its environmental impact.

The recent announcement comes after 2012’s pledge by the company to find an alternative to plastic by 2030. However, the company recently conceded that it will require expert help in this matter.

Administrative Director Jørgen Vig Knudstorp wrote: “The tests and research that we have already completed have given us greater insight into the challenges that we need to resolve in order to reach our ambition, and we are now investing significantly more resources in preparation for the next phase in the search for alternative materials.”

Over 100 specialists will be recruited to work in a research facility located at the company’s corporate headquarters.

Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, a sustainable development expert from Aarhus University believes there is great potential in the project, but warns of problems connected to the alternatives.

“If Lego is considering using bio-based plastic, then they will have new challenges in with finding enough agricultural land to develop as well as increasing competition in that sector. There can be both social and environmental consequences in pursuing this strategy,” he said.

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