I have fond memories of gifting Lego sets to my children on early birthdays and watching as they excitedly constructed imaginary worlds with wonderful, wacky kid-logic. Today’s Lego sets may follow trends in terms of content, but the basic units — the classic bricks — haven’t changed since 1958, and still allow for grand gestures of creativity!
Recently, Lego expanded on its product’s creative recyclability and announced a program called Replay. Replay is a partnership with two non-profits, that will collect previously owned Legos, clean them up, sort them, and donate them to classrooms and kids in need.
This is just one facet of Lego’s grand sustainability plan, through which the Danish toy manufacturer hopes to be completely environmentally neutral by 2030. This includes interrogating even the plastics used to make the bricks.
“Last year, the company released its first batch of pieces made using more sustainable bio-based plastics. In 2017, it said that its production process was running on 100 per cent renewable energy. (It’s a little more complicated than that. According to [Lego’s VP of environmental responsibility Tim] Brooks, not every facility is entirely renewable, but Lego’s parent company, Kirkbi, has invested in enough renewable energy production elsewhere to offset the outflow.)
From a sustainability standpoint, Lego has found itself reckoning with a kind of identity crisis. The more we learn about plastic, the worse the material seems. Plastic is found just about everywhere on Earth, it’s ridiculously difficult to clean up, and we’ll be dealing with it for generations to come.”
While Lego grapples with the reduce part of the classic triptych, it seems to have an excellent handle on reuse and recycle, through Replay. Personally, I’m for anything that not only minimizes the human effect on our environment, but spreads joy and creativity to kids who might not otherwise have access to them. Insert appropriate “building”-related pun here!