Lego searches for sustainable plastic alternative

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UNDATED (NBC) -- Lego wants kids of the future to continue having fun with its toy building blocks, but not at the expense of the environment. To that end, the Denmark-based Lego Group has announced a plan to find "sustainable" materials to replace the plastic used in its bricks by 2030. The company says it will invest more than $150 million to establish a Lego Sustainable Materials Centre and staff it with more than 100 employees.

"Our mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We believe that our main contribution to this is through the creative play experiences we provide to children," Lego Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said in a statement. "The investment announced is a testament to our continued ambition to leave a positive impact on the planet, which future generations will inherit."

Since 1963, Lego blocks have been made from a strong, resilient plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Lego goes through more than 6,000 tons of plastic each year to manufacture all the sets they sell. The company indicated it will collaborate with outside companies and experts to find and implement new replacement materials, though it acknowledged there's no universally agreed-upon definition for what constitutes a "sustainable" material.

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