Life and Arts

LEGO Going Green

Can toys be eco-friendly?

gettyimages 459643784


  • March, 2018: The LEGO Group announced that all new green-colored pieces will be "eco-friendly pieces" made with sugar-cane plastic. [LEGO], 

  • LEGO pieces are traditionally made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which is based on crude oil. [BBC]

  • LEGO has also pledged by 2020, 100% of the energy used will come from renewable sources. [TIME]

“At the LEGO Group, we want to make a positive impact on the world around us..."

-Tim Brooks, VP of Environmental Responsibility at LEGO.

  • The first LEGO eco-friendly pieces will be composed of "botanical elements" such as leaves, bushes, and trees. [LEGO]
  • LEGO has also pledged that all products and packaging will be created with sustainable materials by 2030.

< - - - - Learn more about sugarcane plastic, and where one company finds it.



The LEGO Group's various efforts to "go green" could set a precedent, or be an example, for other toy makers to follow.



Same quality

LEGO believes children and parents will not notice a difference in the new pieces because "plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional" plastic. [How Stuff Works]



Ethical sourcing

The company pledged to source the sugar-cane in an ethical way. [How Stuff Works]



More jobs

By changing production, the LEGO Group plans to hire more than 100 people to work on the project. [LEGO]



The LEGO Group is investing $150 million to change production. [TIME]


This changes a process that has been in place since the 1960s. [CBS News]



Doesn't work

Initial tests found that after a few weeks of use, LEGO bricks made with sugar-cane plastic failed to stick together. [CBS News]



Not really eco

Only 1-2% of the “eco-friendly” blocks will be made with the sugar-cane plastic. The remaining 98-99% will be created with the traditional ABS. [], [The Telegraph]


  • The eco-friendly pieces are available for purchase.

  • ABS still comprises 70% of total LEGO plastic usage (6,000 tons) each year. [Wired]

Key Vocabulary