LEGO Investing $150M To Develop Sustainable Non-Plastic Materials For Brick-Making

Last year, LEGO made 60 million blocks out of the same plastic material the Danish company has been using since 1963. But the bricks of our childhood could one day be of a different substance, as LEGO has plans to spend a bunch of money figuring out how to develop new sustainable materials to replace plastic.

The toy company says it’ll invest 1 billion Danish Krone — about $150 million — over the next 15 years as part of a program to develop a new sustainable material to take the place of plastic. NBC News notes this is a particularly strong, resilient plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (good fact to trot out for your next cocktail party).

This is all part of the company’s “continued ambition to leave a positive impact on the planet, which future generations will inherit,” Lego Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said in the company’s announcement.

Some of those millions will establish the Lego Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark, where a staff of more than 100 specialists will begin working on the project by 2016.

“This is a major step for the Lego Group on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials,” CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said. “We have already taken important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet by reducing the packaging size, by introducing [Forest Stewardship Council] certified packaging and through our investment in an offshore wind farm. Now we are accelerating our focus on materials.”

As long as kids in the future can still build giant palaces complete with a kitten corral, multiple cheese refrigerators and 14 pools with 37 water slides, I’ll have no complaints.

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