LEGO announced plans to package loose bricks in recyclable paper bags instead of single-use plastic bags. This is part of a plan to make all of its packaging sustainable by the end of 2025. This initiative was inspired by children asking for the brand to make a change.
The LEGO Group will invest up to US$400 million over three years to accelerate sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. The investment will cover both long-term investments and ongoing costs. The company, which has made a series of moves over the past 10 years to build a better planet for future generations, believes it’s increasingly urgent and important to prioritize environmental and social activity.
The LEGO Group CEO, Niels B Christiansen said: “We cannot lose sight of the fundamental challenges facing future generations. It’s critical we take urgent action now to care for the planet and future generations. As a company who looks to children as our role models, we are inspired by the millions of kids who have called for more urgent action on climate change. We believe they should have access to opportunities to develop the skills necessary to create a sustainable future. We will step up our efforts to use our resources, networks, expertise and platforms to make a positive difference.”
As a next step, the company will begin to phase out single-use plastic bags used in LEGO boxes to package the loose bricks. This is part of its ambition to make all its packaging sustainable by the end of 2025. From 2021, Forest Stewardship Council-certified recyclable paper bags will be trialled in boxes.
Christiansen said: “We have received many letters from children about the environment asking us to remove single-use plastic packaging. We have been exploring alternatives for some time and the passion and ideas from children inspired us to begin to make the change.”
Moving away from the existing packaging is not a simple task and will take time as new material must be durable, light weight and enhance the building experience. Several prototypes made from a range of different sustainable materials have so far been tested with hundreds of parents and children. Children liked the paper bags being trialed in 2021 as they were environmentally friendly and easy to open.
The LEGO Group will continue to work with organisations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, World Wild Fund for Nature, RE100, UNICEF and Save the Children in order to create the greatest impact.
Christiansen said: “At a time when the world is facing numerous challenges, companies must take action to create a lasting positive impact on the environment and society. No one can do it alone. I urge companies, governments, parents, children and NGOs to continue to join forces to create a sustainable future for our children, the builders of tomorrow.”
Speaking about the letters the company receives about sustainability from children, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, Tim Brooks said: “Children share the most fantastic and creative ideas about how we can be more environmentally friendly when they contact us. We respond to every letter and many are shared with the CEO and Environmental Responsibility team for further consideration. I love hearing from children. It’s the best part of my job!”
If you know a child that has an idea to help shape the LEGO Group’s sustainability ambitions, visit LEGO.com/service to share it with Brooks and the team.
All photos courtesy of LEGO