Toy brand LEGO created its first prototypes of bricks from recycled polyethylene terephthalate, a common thermoplastic used for products such as bottles and clothing. The Danish company aims to manufacture all of its products from environmentally friendly materials by 2030. The prototype brick, which has been developed over the past three years, was made from used plastic bottles purchased from suppliers in the United States.
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A one-liter plastic bottle contains enough raw materials to make about 10 LEGO 2×4 bricks. The company has tested over 250 recycled plastic formulations to create a brick that meets the company’s quality, safety, and gaming standards. For example, the green brick’s “grip” – the ability to cling to other LEGO parts – means it is compatible with building blocks.
Since 1963, most LEGO parts have been made from ABS plastic, which has proven difficult to find sustainable replacements – you need a material that “can be molded to the exact thickness of a hair” to match the shape and size of the new blocks over 60 years ago. … In addition, a LEGO set must be strong and durable enough to literally be inherited. The company now plans to thoroughly test and develop a prototype brick before deciding whether to launch it into production. Tests will determine if the composition of the patent-pending material is suitable for making LEGO bricks.