I’m back! After 4’ish years of not blogging, I’m ready with a new load of subjects, articles, and explanations about sustainability and environmental behaviour. It seems fitting that I should write one of the first posts about something I’ve loved and cherished since childhood: LEGO.
LEGO recently announced its investment of 1 billion DKK (150mio $US) dedicated to research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture LEGO® elements as well as packaging materials.
This is great news for the toy and general plastic industry! And for me!
Here’s a short explanation of why everything is awesome:
- We consume an enormous amount of plastic – and it’s polluting our environment and our food supply. Our oceans alone have an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating around in them. We even have “Islands” made entirely out of floating plastic. The plastic pollution in the oceans is very likely to end up in our food chain. Producing alternative plastic products that, when discarded, are biological degradable, is a must in regards to combatting further plastic pollution.
- Current plastics are recyclable, but are always downcycled. Even if you returned all your old bricks to a LEGO factory, they would have to be color sorted in order to not end up as a greyish goo. I love Space LEGO, but I don’t want only grey bricks.
- LEGO bricks are produced in a quantity of between 20 and 45 billion bricks pr. Year. In the overall scheme of plastic toys hitting the marked each year, isn’t’ a lot. However, the LEGO brand is a worldwide known and trusted brand, and currently more powerful than Ferrari. They are copied.
Going on the marked with a plastic-like material that is made from plants, gives them first-mover status and will increased the demand for more toys made from biodegradable material. This will of course spill into other industries pushing the marked away from non-renewable based plastic
See, I told you it would be short.
This first-mover decision from LEGO will have other companies turning green of envy. Not only is LEGO creating better and smarter trash (and I’ll come back to why that matters in a later post), LEGO is creating a full circle product.
As a consumer with a box of bricks in your hand, you know you are buying;
1) A product that, when discarded is more environmentally friendly than that of the competitors,
2) A product that will last for generations, without the need for maintenance or upgrades, and
3) Will always deliver a fun and creative expressions.
Oh, but I’m an adult, I don’t care about sustainable toys
Well you should. Besides from the obvious environmental, economic and health benefits of NOT pollution our food supply, LEGO offers a great many advantages for adults as well. In my workday a coworker and I set a timer for 15 minutes, break out a small box of LEGO and start building. Why? Because it’s simply impossible to feel stressed while building LEGOs. And don’t take my word for it. The Serious Play initiative has got the world of finance talking.
To sum up, I’ve been a happy customer of the company ever since I stepped on my first brick, and I’ll likely continue to do so, until my old arthritis plagued fingers can no longer separate the 4×2 from the 8×2.
As this old add delightfully sums up: What it is, is beautiful.
If you want to know more about plastic pollution in the oceans, or want to help reduce it, go to Plasticchange.org.