Toy manufacturer Lego says its ambitions include replacing single-use disposable plastics and finding recycled or sustainably sourced bio-based materials for all plastic based packaging.

It has announced an aim for 100 per cent sustainable packaging by 2025, following its announcement that it will target 100 per cent sustainable materials in both its bricks and packaging by 2030.

Currently, the majority of its packaging, by weight, comprises cardboard or paper-based material, recyclable, sustainably sourced. and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 

Tim Brooks, vice president environmental responsibility at the Lego Group says, “To support our company mission, we have a planet promise and we have pledged to play our part in protecting the planet for future generations. Using sustainable packaging is an important part of fulfilling that promise. By bringing forward our ambition or sustainable packaging, we are also acknowledging the need to find better packaging solutions sooner. We’ve made good progress in the past three years, and there is still work to do.”

Lego says its products, designed for reuse, get and handed down through generations but not everyone keeps their Lego boxes and other packaging. As some of the Lego packaging contains single-use disposable plastics, not regarded as sustainable, and in some cases not recyclable by consumers, the Lego Group has decided to actively take measures to improve its packaging sustainability.

Brooks adds, “By 2025, our aim is that no LEGO packaging parts have to end up in a landfill. Packaging will be made from renewable or recycled materials and will be easy for consumers to recycle.”

The Lego Group has taken several steps to improve the sustainability of its packaging:

  • This year, the company began using recycled plastic in packaging blisters – the transparent plastic windows which allow consumers to have a sneak peek into some Lego boxes
  • This year, Lego boxes in the US and Canada started to feature the How2Recycle label promoting packaging recycling and providing US and Canadian consumers with clear guidance to responsibly recycle their Lego packaging
  • In 2017, it replaced plastic trays used in advent calendars with recyclable paper-pulp trays, saving up to one million plastic trays from going to the landfill
  • Approximately 75 per cent of cardboard used to make Lego boxes comes from recycled material
  • It has reduced the average size of a Lego box has been reduced by 14 per cent over the past four years, improving transport efficiency, saving on average every year over 3000 truckloads and 7000 tonnes of cardboard
  • All paper and cardboard used in Lego products and product packaging is recyclable, sustainably sourced and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council

The Lego Group’s sustainable packaging ambition focuses on finding sustainable packaging alternatives that are:

  • Renewable: 100 per cent of Lego boxes, bags, and special packaging are to be made from recycled or sustainably sourced bio-based materials
  • Efficient: ongoing exploring ways to optimise packaging, balancing consumer appeal with environmental action
  • Recyclable: designing packaging that facilitates consumers to recycle in our major markets

The Lego Group believes a new sustainable material must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights and climate change. It partners with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing and supply chain operations and promote global action on climate change.

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