While the LEGO Group continues to strive to meet its goal to manufacture all products using sustainable elements by 2030, the task is proving tricky.
The LEGO Group announced that all elements will be manufactured using sustainable materials by 2030, and launched “plants from plants” elements last year that are made from bioplastics. The vast majority of the element portfolio still uses traditional plastics though, and the Wall Street Journal reports that the search for alternatives is proving difficult.
“It’s a bit like putting the man on the moon,” said LEGO Vice President of Environmental Responsibility Tim Brooks to the publication. “When (former US President) Kennedy said he wanted to put a man on the moon, lots of the technology and requirements didn’t exist. We need to go out and build that.”
According to the article, the LEGO Group has invested $216 million in research and development as well as scientists who can work on the project. So far, various types of sustainable plastic have been tested for the regular LEGO brick, but have not worked out. “If you build that castle, you want that castle to stand up in five years time, 10 years time and not [for] the bricks to change shape and the turrets to fall over,” said Brooks.
IKEA is also finding limited options when it comes to sustainable plastics. “These technologies are in a start-up phase,” said IKEA’s Johan Bruck. “We still see a lot of challenges for how to produce these materials in an efficient way.”