Lego has stopped a venture to make bricks from recycled drinks bottles as a substitute of oil-based plastic, saying it could have led to larger carbon emissions over the product’s lifetime.
The transfer, first reported by the Monetary Occasions, adopted efforts by the world’s largest toymaker to analysis extra sustainable supplies, as a part of a wave of firms reassessing their contribution to international emissions because the local weather disaster hits.
The Danish firm makes billions of Lego items a 12 months, and in 2021 started researching a possible transition to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which wants about 2kg of petroleum to make 1kg of plastic. ABS is utilized in about 80% of Lego blocks.
“It’s like attempting to make a motorbike out of wooden quite than metal,” stated Tim Brooks, Lego’s head of sustainability, referring to how the non-oil-based materials was softer and demanded additional substances for sturdiness, in addition to better power for processing and drying.
The “degree of disruption to the manufacturing atmosphere was such that we would have liked to alter every part in our factories” to scale up recycled PET use, he stated. “In spite of everything that, the carbon footprint would have been larger. It was disappointing.”
The corporate stated in 2021 it had greater than 150 individuals engaged on sustainability. However Lego’s chief govt, Niels Christiansen, instructed the FT the toymaker “examined a whole lot and a whole lot of supplies” however couldn’t discover a “magic materials” to unravel sustainability points.
As an alternative, Lego goals to make every a part of ABS extra sustainable by incorporating extra bio-based and recycled materials. Christiansen stated the group will triple spending on sustainability to $3bn (£2.45bn) a 12 months by 2025 whereas promising to not cross on larger prices to customers.