LEGO Group unveiled today its first prototype bricks made from recycled plastic. The new brick was produced using PET plastic from discarded bottles, sourced from suppliers in the U.S.

According to LEGO, the development of the recycled plastic brick marks the latest step on the company’s journey to make its products from sustainable materials. In December 2020, the company announced a series of climate-focused sustainability commitments, including initiatives to invest in sustainable materials research to reduce the carbon footprint of products and packaging.

Vice President of Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group, Tim Brooks said:

“We are super excited about this breakthrough. The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong and high quality as our existing bricks – and fit with LEGO elements made over the past 60 years. With this prototype we’re able to showcase the progress we’re making.”

According to LEGO Group, the company currently has a team of over 150 people working to find sustainable solutions for its products, and the company has tested over 250 variations of PET materials, along with other plastic formulations. The company stated that it will continue testing and developing the PET formulation of the new prototype brick, and then assess whether to move to the pilot production phase. It expects this phase of testing to take at least a year.

The company said that on average, a one-litre plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material for ten 2 x 4 LEGO bricks.

Brooks added:

“We know kids care about the environment and want us to make our products more sustainable. Even though it will be a while before they will be able to play with bricks made from recycled plastic, we want to let kids know we’re working on it and bring them along on the journey with us. Experimentation and failing is an important part of learning and innovation. Just as kids build, unbuild and rebuild with LEGO bricks at home, we’re doing the same in our lab.”