Danish researchers may have found a new, green version of Lego

Researchers at Aarhus University have concluded that there is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to Lego’s plastic bricks.

Danish researchers may have found a new, green version of Lego
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

A new type of sustainable plastic was shown in tests to be just as durable as the traditional material used to make the iconic toy.

“Lego bricks have proved they can last a very long time, and our view is that new bricks made from new, sustainable and green materials can last for just as long,” chemical engineer and Aarhus University PhD student Emil Andersen said via a press statement.

Lego has invested one billion kroner in research aimed at developing new plastics.

The company’s mandatory criteria for the research is that new products must be just as durable as traditional Lego materials.

That means staying in shape over years of punishment through play, exposure to water, and being trodden on by unsuspecting feet.

Lego has therefore asked researchers from Aarhus University to present possible alternative materials.

“For over 60 years, we have used the plastic that we still use today in most of our Lego products,” the company’s project manager René Mikkelsen said.

“We know it works and we know it lasts, but we want to be even better at analysing the durability of our products,” Mikkelsen continued.

Last year, the company launched its first products made from sugar cane.

Its overall target is for all products, including packaging, to be made from sustainable plastic by 2030.

The results of the Aarhus University study were published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

READ ALSO: Lego stacks up profits after building away from bricks

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Denmark’s toy giant Lego offers staff bonus after bumper year

Danish toymaker Lego, the world's largest toymaker, Denmark's Lego, said on Tuesday it will offer its 20,000 employees three extra days of holiday and a special bonus after a year of bumper revenues.

Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022.
Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022. File photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Already popular globally, Lego has seen demand for its signature plastic bricks soar during the pandemic alongside its rapid expansion in China.

“The owner family wishes to… thank all colleagues with an extra three days off at the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The unlisted family group reported a net profit of more than 6.3 billion Danish kroner (847 million euros) for the first half of 2021.

Revenues shot up 46 percent to 23 billion kroner in the same period.

It had been “an extraordinary year for the Lego Group and our colleagues have worked incredibly hard,” said the statement, which added that an unspecified special bonus would be paid to staff in April 2022.

Lego, a contraction of the Danish for “play well” (leg godt), was founded in 1932 by Kirk Kristiansen, whose family still controls the group which employs about 20,400 people in 40 countries.

READ ALSO: Lego profits tower to new heights as stores reopen