What’s Going On Here?
LEGO are swapping oil-base plastic for a plant-based alternative in SOME of their products. The Danish childhood-memory-maker and part-time toymaker announced the move on Thursday. Production has started and the products will be on sale later this year.
What Does This Mean?
Companies are feeling the pressure to change their production methods. And in the case of LEGO this means swapping out oil as the starting product for LEGO in exchange for sugar-cane. The resulting plastic has exactly the same physical properties.
The nerd stuff:
OIL > ethylene (+many) > polyethyene > LEGO
SUGAR-CANE > Sugar > ethanol > ethylene (+ many) > polyethyene > LEGO
Why Should I Care?
Oil-based plastic production its cheap, the manufacturing process is easy and it remains the top choice among manufacturers. The problem is oil reserves are limited an nearly all oil-based plastics non-bio-degradable.
Plant-based plastic or bio-polymers are seen as a “sustainable” solution. Unlike petrol, we can farm sugar-cane and it removes CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good… sugarcane requires agriculture, which often has its own environmental impact. The plastic synthesis is also far more complex than that of oil (as seen in the nerd code above). To top it off… the end product is not always bio-degradable, as is the case with bio-polyethyene.
What Can You Do To Help:
The key is to reduce or totally cut plastics from your life. Start by surrounding yourself by inspiration, this should help you stay on track & feed you with ideas on how best to become plastic free. There are tones of people in the space and below are a few sources we like:
- The UK first plastic-free shop & singing chicas: Charlottes_Cupboard INSTAGRAM
- Australian group 1 Million Women. FACEBOOK
- Curious.Earth. NEWSLETTER 😉
If its LEGO you are after, check out your local charity shop, your family home attic or Build UR Brick where you can rent your dream set.
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