The popular LEGO brand of build-it-yourself toys has announced a major initiative to produce most of its products and packaging from "sustainable" plant-based sources by the year 2030.
Currently, most LEGO bricks are made from a natural gas and petroleum-derived polymer called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). However, LEGO has been working to develop plastic bricks made of polyethylene derived from sugarcane, and rolled the first of those bricks out for sale on August 1st of 2018, according to Business Insider.
According to a video released by the company to promote its efforts, LEGO plans to make the majority of all its products and packaging from "sustainable" materials.
The Lego Group is based in Denmark and has been one of the most successful toy production companies in world history. In 2015, they surpassed Mattel became the number one toy-selling brand in the world, a title which they have not yet relinquished as of the publication date of this article.
Some environmental activists, meanwhile, are not all that impressed by the move; after all, they claim, while the new bricks are not derived from petroleum, they are still extremely resistant to biodegradation and the manufacturing processes required to create the polyethylene have their own negative side effects on the environment.
It also remains to be seen how well the new plant-based bricks will replicate the look and feel of the old, iconic ABS bricks. Thus far, the replacement polyethylene pieces have consisted entirely of ornamental legos like trees and bushes rather than the load-bearing bricks that are the bread-and-butter of any LEGO creation. LEGO maintains that it is committed to working with the plant based products to ensure that they exactly replicate the look and feel of its old products.