How Lego is reducing plastic without compromising its product
Wednesday, September 12, 2018/
Sustainability has become a pillar of corporate social responsibility in recent years, prompting businesses large and small to change their processes and products to reduce plastic waste.
Many large companies such as Coles and Woolworths have also taken their own steps to reduce their use of plastic — but what happens when plastic is essentially the product itself?
Enter Lego, which has been producing plastic bricks for kids to play with since the 1940s.
Unsurprisingly, the Danish toy giant churns through a fair bit of plastic, pumping out 100 million pieces of Lego from its mega factory in Denmark each day.
But times are changing, and so is Lego. The company has committed to building its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030.
There’s just one problem though — the company still isn’t quite sure how it’s going to do it.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Lego’s vice president for environmental responsibility, Tim Brooks, said the company was committed to achieving its goal.
“It is important,” Brooks said, “that we can make a toy that doesn’t jeopardize [children’s future].”
The company is investing about 1 billion Kroner ($2.18 billion) into hiring 100 or so people to work on the changes.
Technicians and scientists are trying to figure out a way to produce a sustainable product, without making any compromises on the quality of Lego’s products.
The plan is to develop the same product in a different way. Blocks need to click together and separate easily, retain their signature bright colours and endure the usual stuff, such as accidental trips through the laundry.
Hundreds of alternatives have already been experimented with, including bioplastics derived from sugar-cane husks in certain types of Lego.
But while a solution for the company’s mainstay block products remains elusive, executives are reportedly determined to see the task through.
If it works, the four-story Lego tree located outside the company’s offices in Denmark could take on a whole new type of realism.
The art of business drinking: How to make deals, networks and friends Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Bridging the gap: Why regular customer surveys are key to good business Sonia Majkic 3 Phase Marketing co-founder
Forget the side hustle: Five benefits of practising your profession outside office hours Michael Tiyce Tiyce & Lawyers principal
How we created an engaging online course with a 91% completion rate Emma Green Your CEO Mentor co-founder
Five things to consider before you launch a family business Monique Bolland Nuzest co-founder
Why Australian businesses are the new owned media moguls Jonathan Hopkins Marketing