Lego Sets Target to Replace ABS with a Sustainable Resin

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Lego A/S is looking for a sustainable replacement for ABS, its signature bricks material. The company has set a target to find and use a sustainable alternative to replace ABS by 2030. The company says that the challenge is to identify a new resin that will be sustainable and yet be able to meet the same characteristics as the material of its current locking building blocks.

Lego’s toys are passed down from one generation to the next because of the high durability of the material. Therefore, the company’s goal is to find a sustainable alternative that is just as durable as the existing material. While the search is still in its early stages, Lego has already tested material using an impact modified polylactic acid; the test results are “very, very close.”

Lego has been using ABS material for its bricks for nearly half a century. It uses more than 6,000 tons of plastic each year, of which 70 percent is ABS. Therefore, a sustainable replacement for ABS will have a major impact on the company’s efforts to go green. Lego wants to ensure it has a global material supplier for all its international production sites once it is ready to replace the resin.

The company is looking for a resin that hits its environmental targets and makes economic sense at the same time. Another concern is to ensure that the new alternative emerges from a non-food feedstock base so that the business does not face the dilemma of toys versus food. The material must also be such that the toys meet the international quality regulation standards. Therefore, before any changes can be introduced, the company needs to address major supply chain issues.

One of the challenges in this endeavor is to ensure that color blending remains uncompromised with the new material. A red brick molded today must match a red brick molded three decades ago, or for that matter, a red brick the company will produce three decades from now.

Source: Plastic News

Image Credit: Flickr via Stephen Edmonds