LEGO Is Switching to Eco-Friendly Packaging


Labeled for reuse by Creative Commons license. LEGOS are shown as they are being unpackaged.

LEGO has started to phase out single use plastic packaging for a more eco friendly alternative. They have decided to gradually phase in the new packaging in over a four-year period from 2021 onward. In addition to the packaging change, LEGO stated in 2015 they had set a target to make its products from sustainable materials by 2030.  

“LEGO bricks are designed to be reused and handed down through generations, but LEGO boxes and other packaging are often disposed of quickly,” according to a LEGO company statement. “Some of our packaging contains single-use disposable plastic, which today, isn’t sustainable or in some cases able to be recycled. That’s why we’re taking urgent action to make all our packaging sustainable by 2025.”

“I think this shows a commitment to sustainable resource use that customers may appreciate, but it shows leadership that they are willing to make this shift even without consumer demand,” said Nathan Chisholm, a science teacher at Air Academy High School.

“However, I think another valid question is whether their bricks are made of recycled plastic. Used Polyethylene bags do not have much demand on the market unless someone is buying them to do something with them.” continued Chisholm.

 “They are taking steps to encourage customers to repurpose or donate their Legos so they can continue to be used after the child is no longer interested in them? Legos are very durable and can last for decades, if there is a path for them to be donated to someone who wants them.”

But let’s look beyond just the packaging, as that may be a minimal piece of a product’s carbon footprint. Are the manufacturers using clean or green energy? What environmental standards do they hold to for waste disposal, encouraging employees to carpool, ride bikes to work, etc.? Are they subject to 3rd party audits, or does the consumer have to take the manufacturer’s word for it that these changes are effective.

​”LEGO has always been at a forefront of eco-friendly trends as they are an international company.” stated Air Academy science department teacher Brad Boyle. “​Companies spend quite a bit of time developing and marketing their packaging. Apple corporation is probably the most visible with that trend. All packaging would have to withstand children tugging and pulling on it. If it is not functional, it is not of much use,” continued Boyle.

When asked whether more companies should take notes from LEGO, Boyle responded, ​”I am very sensitive of non eco-friendly packaging within the fast-food industry. To that end, I once filled out a comment card when Cane’s Chicken Fingers opened. They were using Styrofoam packaging when they first opened. It has since changed.”

 LEGOS efforts to change its packaging is a step in the right direction for the industry, and many people will be happy with the company for making that change. Being one of the biggest family oriented companies in the world, LEGO is also in a very strong position to influence the future and push more for steps in the right direction.