Lego is pumping millions of dollars into its quest to find new, sustainable materials for its popular plastic toy bricks. While the company’s goal with this initiative is to build better toys, it may end up shifting the plastics industry away from its oil-based roots.

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“We expect both established and emerging companies within the bio-based plastics industry to look closely at how their technology may fit in with Lego’s goal.” Lux Research associate Jennie Lynch told Environmental Leader.

Last year Lego said it would spend 1 billion Danish Krone ($150.5 million) to develop new sustainable materials for its plastic Lego toys and packaging materials. This includes the establishment of the Lego Sustainable Materials Centre in Billund, Denmark.


The company has already hired at least 100 engineers to develop alternatives to petroleum-based materials and is making good on its promises.

It’s a big deal for Lego, which Fast Company calls “the Apple of toys,” moving from near bankruptcy in 2003 to briefly beating rival Mattel for a stint in 2014 to become the biggest toy manufacturer in the world.

Amid its financial success, the company has taken efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, such as investing in wind farms to offset the energy used in factories and achieve its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

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