Danish toymaker Lego has recently announced that its attempt to manufacture its iconic bricks from recycled plastic bottles has been halted, citing carbon emissions as the main culprit behind the failure. CBS News has reported that after more than two years of testing and experimentation, the company has admitted that their prototype, using polyethylene terephthalate (PET), did not meet their sustainability goals of carbon emissions reduction.
@LEGO_Group ditches recycled PET brick 🧱 project
“We needed to change everything in our factories. After all that, the carbon footprint would have been higher”
💰Very costly too
— Jan Dell🌻The Last Beach Cleanup (@WasteCounter) September 24, 2023
Lego’s decision, however, won’t affect the company’s drive for sustainability. It has invested more than $1.2 billion in a variety of sustainability initiatives, including looking at alternative sustainable materials such as green methanol and bio-polypropylene for the production of their Lego bricks.
Green Methanol, also known as e-methanol, is composed of waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen, produced using renewable energy to split water molecules. Bio-polypropylene is a sustainable and biological version of polyethylene, which is a plastic material used in different applications.
Lego hopes that their long-term efforts in sustainability inspire the production of more sustainable raw materials like recycled oils and help the world transition to sustainable materials. It believes that its commitment to the environment will bring about more sustainable materials, which will reduce carbon emissions, and contribute to global sustainability initiatives.
The announcement that Lego has had to abandon its project to utilize recycled plastics for their Lego bricks is a setback for the company’s ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions. The failed PET prototype product illustrates that attempting to minimize carbon emissions is often a futile effort.
Despite Lego’s strives towards sustainability, experts have pointed out that climate sustainability is often a ploy that is little more than an accounting trick. The science around man-made climate change continues to be openly debated, leading many to question the validity of climate change science. While global warming and carbon emissions are popular topics in the media and politics, scientists remain divided on whether or not human activity is responsible for climate change.
The decision taken by Lego, however, rather than being a response out of genuine concern for the environment, can instead be seen as a reactionary move to appease current media trends rather than a genuine effort towards sustainability. Companies are pressured to hop on board with climate change responses and initiatives in order not to lose market share to more climate-focused companies, with consumers placing more emphasis on their environmental concerns.
In conclusion, despite the setback in the recycled plastic bottles production, Lego will continue its commitment to sustainability with its alternative sustainable materials while maintaining the responsibility to remain diligent with surge of climate change media trends.