LEGO Reinvents With Plant-based Materials, Sparks Concerns of ‘Rotting’ Bricks Among Enthusiasts

LEGO Reinvents With Plant-based Materials, Sparks Concerns of ‘Rotting’ Bricks Among Enthusiasts PHOTOGRAPH: LEGO Newsroom |

In a move to push LEGO Group’s commitment to sustainability among its major products and packaging by 2013, the company will produce its botanical elements such as leaves, bushes, and trees with plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. Consumers, however, expressed concerns about the durability of plant-based LEGO bricks.

The initiative sealed a partnership with World Wildlife Fund for Nature to reduce CO2 emissions in manufacturing and supply chain operations, ultimately promoting global action on climate change. The materials to be used in making the botanical LEGO elements will undergo the certification of the Bonsucro Chain of Custody which monitors the standard for responsible sourcing of sugarcane.

LEGO will be getting the sugarcane from Brazil. The company also announced that production of these new plant-based pieces has already started. The reinvented pieces will be available in its boxes anytime this year.

LEGO enthusiasts, particularly adults who grew up playing with the plastic toy, were not pleased. They took to Facebook to air their worries.

Many of them expressed concerns about low-quality plastic that will soon disintegrate through time. A lot have shared that with the quality of LEGO’s original plastic material, they were able to pass their bricks to their children. They can even wash the pieces from time to time.

Some opined that LEGO’s push for sustainability is senseless because majority of its fans do not throw the old bricks at all, explaining that the pieces do not end up in landfills. In fact, some stressed that LEGO bricks were well recycled at present.

Some noted that that they didn’t care buying the expensive toy because the pieces were durable. Now, they already expressed doubt that the new quality will be worth their money. In fact, a few of them speculated that prices will sky rocket due to the process of obtaining the sustainable materials.

A few hoped that even with the expected change with the bricks’ composition, the quality of colors will stay vibrant and will last like the old ones. A few said that their old LEGO sets still shine the same when mixed with their newer sets.

One comment highlighted that Brazil is continuing to undergo deforestation in order to plant more crops.

In a statement, LEGO vouched that the new plant-based plastic are identical to those produced using conventional plastic. The company promised that LEGO bricks produced decades apart can still fit together with the upcoming pieces.

“LEGO products have always been about providing high quality play experiences giving every child the chance to shape their own world through inventive play. Children and parents will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.