26 October, 2019

Lego plans to recycle old bricks to cut down on plastic

Tambov, Russian Federation - February 20, 2015 Lego Bricks in child's hands with Lego Duplo blocks and toys background. Studio shot.

If successful the toymaker said it would look to roll out the scheme beyond the US (Picture: Getty Images)

Lego is planning to trial a new scheme in the US allowing customers to ship their unwanted bricks back so they can be given to other children.

The Danish toymaker has provided mailing labels which can be printed out, attached to boxes of old bricks and posted free of charge.

All returned bricks will then be cleaned and passed to the Teach For America non-profit group who will donate them to classrooms across the United States.

Some bricks will be also sent to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for their after-school programmes.

Lego said if the test is successful, it may expand the programme beyond the US next year.

The company has previously told customers to keep their bricks or pass them on to others.

But some have asked for another way to donate them, said Lego’s vice president of environmental responsibility Tim Brooks.

Lego, like other big brands, is looking to please customers worried about plastic’s impact on the environment.

It does not disintegrate, but instead can break down into tiny pieces and be eaten by birds or other wildlife, endangering their health.

The toy manufacturer is also working to find other materials for its colourful bricks.

But finding one as durable as plastic has been a challenge, Mr Brooks said.

Last year, however, it began making Lego trees and bushes out of sugar cane.

Rival Hasbro, which makes Monopoly and Mr Potato Head, said it plans to eliminate plastic use in its packaging by 2022.

It too has said that finding a material to replace the plastic in its toys has been tricky.

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