LEGO is making huge strides towards its goal of moving to a totally renewed and ecological production by 2030. While the company has slowly been introducing bricks made of plant-based plastics into its sets, the new Treehouse Set contains the highest number of sustainably made bricks of any LEGO set. So the question is – Is Lego using Hemp?
For decades, LEGO has served as the literal building block for generations of children’s toys. Using an oil-based plastic material known as ABS, it’s no surprise that LEGO has faced its fair share of environmental concerns. Because of this, LEGO announced that last year they were committed to moving towards fully sustainable bricks by the year 2030, through using plant-based polythene plastics.
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Could LEGO move towards hemp bricks?
While LEGO currently uses sugarcane to develop its plant-based polythene bricks, hemp would, in fact, be an ideal base material for the manufacture of plastic because of its high cellulose content, which varies between 70 and 80%.
An Australian company named Zeoform has been working for several years on the advancement of biodegradable hemp technologies. Today, the company claims a new type of very robust plastic made entirely from hemp. The material can be injected or blow moulded in countless products ranging from buttons to straws, home furniture, Frisbees. And even toy building blocks…
Hemp is making waves globally
There are many benefits to CBD and Hemp is slowly making waves in the bioplastic space. Zeoform, an Australian company has patented a product derived from hemp cellulose fibers which they’ve converted into an industrial, highly malleable material.
The material is non-toxic, biodegradable, and can produce commercial and a range of industrial-grade materials. There’s an aptly named US company called HempPlastic which has released a plastic that meets the FDA standards for food, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products. And there’s even a company called Just BioFarms which is making LEGO-inspired, hemp-based bricks for a home on Vancouver. Companies are beginning to realize the efficiency of growing hemp, as well as the durability of the plant itself.
Hemp is awesome
An entire empire of LEGO, approaching 60 years was built on plastic. But now, the gigantic Danish toy company is investing millions to get rid of it … By 2030, the 60 billion blocks that the company manufactures each year will be replaced by a renewable alternative.
It turns out hemp may just be the cost-effective and ecologically sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for. Allan Rasmussen, Project Manager at LEGO, told Plastics News back in 2012 that the new material should be able to form bricks indistinguishable from the actual plastic bricks. “I need to find a material as good as this one,” Rasmussen said.
“I need to find a material that will be just as good in 50 years, because these are passed down from generation to generation.”
Not only is hemp a great choice for forward-looking companies like Lego, but with the increasing amount of research into the hemp extract CBD for pain management, stress relief and anxiety, hemp is one to watch over the coming years.
Editor's update September 2019
Original 2012 reports on LEGOs move towards sustainable plastics suggested that the company was considering using hemp plastics. We have reached out to LEGO for comment and will report back with more information.