LEGO will switch to a completely renewed and ecological production with hemp plastic by the beginning of 2030
LEGO wants to change the material it uses to make its branded toy bricks loved by kids around the world. The company currently uses a plastic resin (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), but by 2030 it wants to use a more environmentally friendly and cost effective material, according to a report from Plastics News. And that material is hemp plastic.
LEGO generation HEMP
The toy empire of LEGO, over 57 years old, was built on plastic. But now the gigantic Danish toy company is investing millions to get rid of it… By 2030, the 60 billion blocks that the company manufactures each year will be replaced by hemp.
Allan Rasmussen, Project Manager at LEGO, told Plastics News that the new material should be able to form bricks indistinguishable from the actual plastic bricks.
“I need to find a material as good as this,” Rasmussen said. “I need to find a material that will be just as good 50 years from now, because these are passed down from generation to generation.”
Make plastic with hemp
Hemp is a cannabis plant, a cousin of marijuana, which is grown with very low levels of THC and used primarily for its fiber and seeds. Hemp can also be turned into a biodegradable plastic material plus resistant than fiberglass.
Petroleum cellulose acts as a building block for the majority of plastics used in the world today. But plastics can actually be made from the cellulose of many organic compounds, including plants like hemp. Hemp is in fact an ideal base material for making plastic due to its high cellulose content, which varies between 70 and 80% , According to Hemp Plastics.
Hemp offers an economical and biodegradable plastic, unlike petroleum-based plastics. A standard petroleum-plastic water bottle is estimated at 450-1000 years to biodegrade...
Hemp plastic innovations
The prohibition of cannabis has more or less erased the industrial potential of hemp for generations, but political reforms around the world are slowly beginning to change that.
An Australian company named Zeoform has been working for several years to advance biodegradable hemp technologies. Today, the company is claiming a new type of very sturdy plastic made entirely from hemp, the material can be injected or blow molded into countless products ranging from buttons to straws, home furniture, frisbees. And even toy building blocks ...
The possibilities are endless with plastics and hemp resins and bio-composites. Virtually any shape and purpose can be fulfilled by bio-composite plastics. Hemp plastics are already on the rise. It is only a matter of time before we see the need to grow hemp in the United States, see France to meet the demands.
Back to LEGO
LEGO uses more than 6 000 tons of plastic to make its bricks every year. And it's been since 1960, according to Plastics News… That's a lot of toxic and non-biodegradable material. Hemp may be the cost-effective and ecologically sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for.
And because hemp is not a primary food crop, LEGO wouldn't be criticized for using the food to make toys. What has been a concern to date ...