If there’s one criticism that’s often levelled at the LEGO Group, it’s that its business model is built on plastic which in these greener, more enlightened times, is frowned upon by many. On the upside, the fact that the LEGO bricks of 50 years ago are still compatible with sets produced today gives the humble elements longevity that other toy manufacturers can only dream of. So yes, plastic may be used to make LEGO, but it’s rarely thrown away, just handed on to the next generation. Recycling in action.
But the LEGO Group are not resting on their laurels and a few years ago, came up with Plants from Plants – LEGO plant elements made from sustainably sourced sugarcane. This comes after years of research to develop an alternative to the mouthful that is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS. That’s not the only changes that are being made though, and a while back we heard the first mutterings that the plastic bags that hold a set’s pieces would be changing to more environmentally friendly paper.
We waited, but an announcement always seemed to be ‘just around the corner’. However, with the reveal of 21058 Great Pyramid of Giza, it seems the wait might nearly be over. As seen in Brickset’s review, A leaflet included in the set says: “We’re transitioning from single-use plastic to paper-based packaging. As we progress, you may find a mix of paper and plastic in our boxes.”
There is more information on the official LEGO site, stating that the paper will come from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and that the aim is to have all packaging sustainable by 2025. Quite how soon plastic bags will be phased out isn’t clear, but that familiar crinkle of plastic bags being emptied out of a box may soon be replaced by a more environmentally-friendly noise.