Next time you wince in pain while stepping on an errant Lego brick in the dark of night, you could very well be cursing a more sustainable alternative compared to parents of yesteryear.
Danish researchers from Aarhus University are closing in on a green plastic alternative that is just as sturdy as the traditional brick.
“Lego bricks have proven to be very durable, and the idea is that the new bricks, made from sustainable and green material, should be the same,” Emil Andersen, a chemical engineering PhD at AU who is part of the research, told DR Nyheder.
Lego itself is involved with the research and has set aside a billion kroner to develop new sustainable plastic products – the critical demand being they need to be as durable as the old bricks.
Last year, the Danish toy giant launched its first plastic products made from sugar cane, and the company’s goal is for all its products, including packaging, to be sustainable by 2030.
“For over 60 years we have used the plastic we still use today in most of our Lego products. We know it works and we know it lasts, but we want to further improve our ability to analyse the longevity of our products,” René Mikkelsen, a spokesperson for Lego, told DR Nyheder.
The Aarhus University findings have been published in the scientific journal Royal Society of Chemistry.
Lego told CPH Post that while the alternative has proven to be sturdy, there is still a while to go before a brick is produced using the method. Pending further research and development, there is also a chance the new alternative will not be employed at all.