“Lego® Group to Phase-Out Single-Use Plastic Bags in Lego® Stores in 2020,” by S.M. O’Connor

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, Lego A/S, doing business as The LEGO® Group, announced that it will phase-out single-use plastic bags and replace them with sustainably-sourced paper bags in its over 500 LEGO® Stores in 2020 as part of the family-owned company’s goal to use 100% sustainable materials in packaging by 2025.

In a press release, The LEGO® Group stated, “The new paper bags will be introduced in stores once they have used up existing stocks of plastic retail bags to ensure no unnecessary waste is generated.  The paper bags are made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certified paper and are fully recyclable.”

The ambition of The LEGO® Group for sustainable packaging focuses on alternatives by 2025 that are renewable, efficient, and recyclable.  By 2025, 100% of LEGO® boxes, bags, and special packaging will be made from recycled or sustainably-sourced renewable or recycled materials.  The LEGO® Group stated it is “ongoingly exploring wats to optimize packaging, balancing consumer appeal with environmental action.”  It is also “designing packaging that can be recycled by consumers.”

All paper and cardboard used in LEGO® products and product packaging is recyclable, sustainably sourced and certified by the F.S.C.  Today, over 90% of the packaging for LEGO® sets, by weight, is cardboard or paper-based which is recyclable, sustainably sourced and certified by the F.S.C.  The LEGO® Group stated, “The LEGO Group believes a new sustainable material must have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights and climate change.”

In 2018, The LEGO® Group began to use recycled plastic in packaging “blisters.”  These are the transparent plastic windows that allow customers to have a sneak peek into some LEGO® boxes.  Last year, The LEGO® Group also rolled out LEGO® boxes in the U.S.A. and Canada that feature the How2Recycle® label promoting packaging recycling and providing American and Canadian customers with clear guidance on how to responsibly recycle their LEGO® packaging.  Two years ago, recyclable paper-pulp trays replaced plastic trays used in LEGO® Advent Calendars, which saved up to 1,000,000 plastic trays from going into landfills.  Approximately 75% of cardboard used to make LEGO® boxes comes from recycled materials.  Over the past five years, The LEGO® Group has reduced the average size of a LEGO® box by 14%, improving transparent efficiency, saving an average every year over 3,000 truckloads and 7,000 tons of cardboard. 

The LEGO® Group stated, “The LEGO Group strives to make a positive impact on society and the planet, which our children will inherit, and it is this focus on future generations that drives our work.  We believe we have a responsibility to minimise[1] the environmental impact of our operations and have set an ambitious target of using sustainable materials in packaging by 2025, and in materials by 2030.  The LEGO Group also partners with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), as part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in manufacturing and supply chain operations and promote global action on climate change…Through investments in wind and solar power, the energy used to make LEGO bricks is balanced by the production of renewable energy.”

[1] This was a matter of The LEGO® Group using the British spelling of a word, not the word having been misspelled.

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