The LEGO group is enhancing their sustainability efforts with a new prototype brick made from recycled plastic. The new prototype utilizes PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic taken from discarded bottles to create LEGO’s first brick made from recycled materials.
The development is three years in the making, as scientists and engineers have tested over 250 variations of PET and hundreds of other plastic formulations in order to meet their safety and quality standards. Although a successful prototype has been made, it will take more time and development before potentially moving into production. The next phase of testing is expected to take at least a year.
“We are super excited about this breakthrough,” Tim Brooks, Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO group, said in a statement on Tuesday “The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong and high quality as our existing bricks — and fit with LEGO elements made over the past 60 years. With this prototype we’re able to showcase the progress we’re making.”
The new prototype brick is LEGO’s latest development in its mission to make more sustainable products. The company announced in 2020 that it would begin removing single-use plastic from its boxes. Aside from the lego bricks, in 2018 the company began making elements from bio-polyethylene (bio-PE) (which is made from sugarcane) for its softer pieces such as trees, branches, minifigures and more.
In related news, check out Lego’s retro-inspired typewriter with real working keys.