Lego has unveiled a prototype for a brick made from recycled drinks bottles. The company hopes to begin retailing recycled plastic bricks within the next two years.

The brand has ramped up sustainability efforts in recent years, setting numerous targets. The recent breakthrough represents an important step in this strategy.

Focusing on environmental concerns has become an area of key importance for toy manufacturers and something that Lego has been particularly focusing on.

Recycled plastic bricks part of Lego’s ambitious sustainability targets

Lego has been exploring alternatives to oil-based plastic bricks for a number of years. In 2018, the company set a target to manufacture all of its products from sustainable materials by 2030.

The unveiling of a new Lego brick prototype made from recycled plastic bottles is a leap forward in this strategy.

The Danish firm has been searching for a recycled material that can produce bricks that match the quality of its current oil-based plastic bricks. Vice President for Environmental Responsibility, Tim Brooks, stated that the challenge has been finding a sustainable product that is “as durable, strong and high quality” as regular bricks.

Following the revelation of the new prototype, the company has said that it hopes to begin retailing recycled plastic bricks within the next two years.

Plastic pollution is a hot topic in toy manufacture

Sustainability has become increasingly important to consumers. Plastic pollution is something that has been at the forefront of this, with toy manufacturers in particular coming under fire.

Subsequently, toy companies have been looking to sustainability to appeal to consumers and extend their reach.

For Lego, a company that is synonymous with its plastic brick, this issue has taken particular importance. The company manufactures between 110 and 120 billion plastic pieces each year. Currently, around 80% of these are produced from oil-based plastics.

Lego is leading sustainability efforts

Lego has previously forayed into sustainable manufacture, with around 5% of its plastic products being made from a polymer that comes from sugar cane. Should further testing prove successful, Lego’s new recycled plastic brick could accelerate the company’s transition to purely sustainable materials.

A further environmental benefit of the new brick prototype comes in the form of reduced emissions. The company currently emits around 1.2 million tons of carbon per year. Switching to recycled plastic would help to cut such emissions.

Should testing prove successful, this new recycled plastic brick would place Lego firmly at the forefront of sustainability efforts in the toy industry.