Lego bricks – they still hurt your feet, but are about to get a lot less harmful to the earth…
There are more than 90 Lego bricks for every person on the planet, (that works out at around 700billion bricks) according to Lego. Most Lego elements are made of ABS thermoplastic (or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene if you want to sound really clever), which, amidst other ingredients, is made made of oil, so you can imagine, it’s not beneficial to the environment.
30% of Lego’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the raw materials used in the bricks. This is why the Danish company is investing £95million in eco-friendly building bricks, and plans to use sustainable bricks in all of its toys by 2030.
Each year the toy company uses 6,000 tons of ABS plastic, but material reducing practises are already in place to ensure the impact the toys have on the environment is reduced. Their senior director of environmental sustainability, Tim Brooks explains, “We are now plugging the wheels onto a wheel base rather than putting a metal axle in- this cuts down the number of individual (build) processes you have to take,’
The new design is cheaper to produce and the environmental impact has improved. Employees are being educated about the benefits of environmental considerations, ‘We have used the knowledge to develop and assessment methodology so our designers can begin to understand the impact of the decisions they make when developing a lego set’ ‘each time a new element is designed it now gets an environmental score’ (Brooks).
We love Lego here at Shaw Renewables, admittedly this is helped by our 5 and 7 year old honorary employees, but even our MD enjoys playing with the bricks! Below is his containerised biomass boiler solution, (complete with fuel silo). This news makes us all very happy, it’s great when large firms grasp the need to change the way they function and even better when they get on board and spread the message – now if we step on a Lego brick, we know it’s only our feet that it’s hurting!