Lego began to investigate the possibilities of switching to recycled PET plastic as early as 2021. Currently, Lego bricks are mainly produced on the basis of ABS plastic, which is produced from petroleum. At the same time, about two kilograms of oil fall on one kilogram of such plastic.
However, the production of cubes from recycled PET plastic would be so different from existing procedures that everything would have to be changed from the ground up in the factories of the Danish company. "It's like trying to make a bicycle out of wood instead of steel," said Tim Brooks, who is in charge of sustainability issues at Lego.
According to him, the PET material is softer and other components would have to be added to it to ensure its durability. A greater amount of energy would then be required to process such materials.
“As a result, the carbon footprint would be higher. It's frustrating," Brooks said. The company's CEO Niels Christiansen told the Financial Times that his company had tested "hundreds of materials" but had not found a "magic" one that would solve the sustainability issue.
However, according to Christiansen, this does not mean that Lego has given up on environmental efforts. The company intends to significantly increase investments in sustainability and explore, among other things, the possibility of adding recycled materials to ABS plastic.