More than 100 LEGO specialists have been working for three years on a new material made from recycled bottles that could replace traditional plastic.

LEGO has taken the next step in creating sustainable bricks for its games by prototyping recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles, the first of their kind.

In development for more than three years by a team of 150 specialists, you can get about 10 2×4 building bricks with a one liter plastic bottle. The toy company released a document that outlines some of the testing processes the more than 250 variations of new materials are undergoing to ensure they are safe and durable.

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Tim Brooks, Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at LEGO, has provided insight into the company’s motivation behind the process. “We know that children care about the environment and want us to make our products more sustainable. Although it will be a while before they can play with bricks made from recycled plastic, we want children to know that we are working on and take them on the trip. with us. Experimenting and failing is an important part of learning and innovation. Just as children build, undo and rebuild with LEGO bricks at home, we do the same in our laboratory. “

Some of the other pieces in the LEGO sets are already made from a different form of sustainably produced material called biopolyethylene (bio-PE), which is obtained from sugar cane. This material is softer than traditional plastic, so it is not ideal for the iconic bricks that form the core of a LEGO set. Instead, it has been used since 2018 to make smaller pieces like trees or minifigure accessories.

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The new parts use a patent-pending “custom compound technology” to make them stronger. They are expected to undergo another round of testing that will take about a year, so it will take some time for them to be seen in boxed LEGO sets. More updates will be available as the company progresses through the process.

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