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Bottles to bricks

LEGO developing prototype bricks from recycled plastic bottles

By Eleanor Escalante Published Jun 24, 2021 6:40 pm

LEGO has unveiled its prototype bricks made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles on Wednesday.

The prototype is currently in phase seven of the process which includes testing how the product can be painted in different colors. This, however, is still “far from complete” and continues to undergo tests before deciding to move to the pilot production phase.

“The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong, and high quality as our existing bricks—and fit with LEGO elements made over the past 60 years,” Tim Brooks, vice president of Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group, said in a press release.

The latest prototype is the Danish toymaker’s first brick made from recycled material that met the quality and safety requirements of the company. If completed, this will replace the bricks made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic.

On average, a one-liter plastic PET bottle is enough for 10 2x4 Lego bricks.

Despite the change in material, LEGO assures the durability of the product by creating a patent-pending material formulation that increases the durability of PET to make it strong enough for LEGO bricks. A “rigorous testing process” is followed which includes assessing the performance of the product when stood on and dropped from a height.

No word yet if the new bricks would provide the same level of foot pain, as previous ones, when accidentally stepped on.

The company sources materials from supplies that use US Food and Drug Administration and European Food Safety Authority approved processes.

This development is part of LEGO’s commitment to making all of its products from sustainable sources by 2030.

(Images from LEGO)