LEGO to produce environmentally-friendly bricks

All of the firm's botanical pieces will now be made out of a biopolymer plastic made from sustainably harvested sugarcane.
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LEGO is the latest toy firm to start an eco-friendly initiative, announcing that all of its botanical pieces will now be made out of real plant-based materials.

The LEGO Group is using Braskem’s I’m Green polyethylene (PE) – a biopolymer plastic made from sustainably harvested sugarcane - to create all of its botanical Lego pieces, which includes all plants such as trees, bushes and leaves.

These parts will start appearing in Lego product boxes in 2018. This partnership with LEGO comes as Braskem’s Green Plastic is present in more than 150 brands in Europe, United States, Asia, Africa and South America.

“The partnership reinforces Braskem’s successful strategy to focus on sustainable and innovative products,” said Gustavo Sergi, renewable chemicals director at Braskem. “Green Plastic is part of Braskem’s renewable products portfolio, which has a robust growth and development strategy for the coming years.”

“At the LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials. We are proud that the first LEGO elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in LEGO boxes this year. This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials,” said Tim Brooks, vice president, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.

The Green PE is 100 per cent recyclable and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The production process begins with dehydrating ethanol, which is obtained from sugarcane, to transform it into green ethylene, which then goes to the polymerization units, where it is transformed into polyethylene. 

The sugarcane plastic then goes to third-generation companies, the so-called converters, which transform it into products.

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