The first LEGO plants made from plants have been unveiled, with the company releasing new botanical elements – including trees, leaves and bushes – made from a plastic produced using sustainably-sourced sugarcane.
The new elements represent the first big step towards the LEGO Group’s ambitions of using sustainable materials in all core products and packaging by 2030. Currently, about 80 per cent of the 75 billion LEGO elements sold each year are made of petroleum-based acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, or ABS.
The elements are compatible with the first ever LEGO bricks made 60 years ago and are an example of the LEGO Group’s continued commitment to innovation, while staying true to the quality, play experience and durability that is at the heart of the LEGO system.
The plastic used to make the elements is polyethylene, a soft, durable and flexible plastic made from sustainably-sourced sugarcane, a renewable material that grows at the same rate or faster than we use it. The sourcing follows guidance from the WWF’s Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) and adheres to the Bonsucro Chain of Custody standard, a third party-certified global standard.
The new elements are made up to 98 per cent plant-based materials. This has been verified by a third-party test. The elements are technically identical to existing LEGO botanical elements and have been tested to ensure the sustainably-sourced plant-based plastic meets the high standards for quality and safety that the LEGO Group has, and consumers expect from LEGO products.
The recent release of the 826-piece Vestas Wind Turbine set, the latest in the LEGO Creator Expert range, is the first Plants from Plants release from the company. The set stands just over three feet tall and includes pieces for a house with a furnished patio, a working porch light, and powered wind turbine, as well as three worker mini-figures and a dog. Two of these pieces – the spruce trees in the landscape – are made from plant-based polyethylene plastic.