Lego to Ditch Plastic Bags for Paper Ones in Its Boxed Sets

Build back better? Lego pledges up to $400m for fresh sustainability drive

The LEGO Group is to invest up to $400 million over the next three years in its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, covering both long-term investments and ongoing costs that includes its ambition to make all of its packaging sustainable by the end of 2025.

As a first step for the new programme, the company announced it would phase out single use plastic bags from its packaging. Monopoly maker Hasbro, for example, has also announced plans to eliminate plastics in its packaging.

From next year the toy company will start introducing recyclable paper bags, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, to package its loose bricks.

"We can not lose sight of the fundamental challenges facing future generations", said Lego Group's CEO, Niels B Christiansen.

"The passion and ideas from children inspired us to begin to make the change", Lego chief executive Niels Christiansen said in a statement. The new paper bags are not only more eco-friendly, but also much easier for children to open.

Pressure has been mounting on the company to reduce its plastic packaging particularly since sales and profits rose during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lego said its investment would also go into educational programmes and efforts to make the company more sustainable in other areas. As part of this pledge it will expand the use of bio-bricks, such as those using sugar cane as a component. Originally trialled in the United States in 2019, Lego Replay saw bricks donated to more than 23,000 children nationwide and will now be rolled out in two more countries by the end of 2022. It will build on its work with organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and local partners to scale up programmes that give children-in-need access to play and opportunities to develop life-long skills such as problem solving, collaboration and communication. "Some of them we had to take apart with pliers and wrenches", Brooks said, referring to bricks made with bio-polyethylene.

Lego's search for a suitable alternative to oil-based plastic has proven hard.

It is reportedly investing up to $400m (£310m) in the effort, with a team of 150 engineers and scientists now testing plant-based and recycled materials for potential use in making Lego bricks.

Big Question: Who invented LEGO and when?



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