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Lego Abandons Plan to Use rPET to Make Bricks

In June 2021, Lego announced amid much fanfare that the first prototype toy brick made from recycled plastic had met its strict quality and safety requirements. That was then. Yesterday, CEO Niels Christiansen told the Financial Times that Lego has abandoned this initiative because bricks made from recycled PET (rPET) would result in higher carbon emissions. The reason, as reported by the BBC, is that the process requires extra production steps and, thus, uses more energy than the current system.

“We tested hundreds and hundreds of materials. It’s just not been possible to find a material like that,” Christiansen told the Financial Times, as reported in its Sept. 23 edition. Lego stressed to Reuters that while it would not pursue this particular project, it still plans to make its toy portfolio sustainable by 2032.

The classic Lego bricks are made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a durable polymer that is scratch resistant and, according to Lego, achieves the “perfect clutch power.” Various other plastics, including polyamide, polycarbonate, and polyethylene, are used to mold Lego elements, depending on the application requirements.

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