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LEGO going nonplastic?


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"And if these new non-plastic legos degrade in 5 years, forcing you to buy more, we're okay with that"

I think that may be the idea here.  biodegradable materials that last only a few months or years.  Then there will be a constant market that they can sell to without the secondary market.

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...and any old-school ABS sets will be that much more valuable. Don't sell those HHs yet. I don't think LEGO is spending a billion to find biodegradable materials to "[force] you to buy more." One of the chief selling points of LEGO is it's collectability/value retention. TLG knows this. You buy more because it's desirable. 

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I think that may be the idea here.  biodegradable materials that last only a few months or years.  Then there will be a constant market that they can sell to without the secondary market.

No, that's not the gist of the article at all. The headline is sensational but the point of the article is sustainability... In terms of sourcing the material needed to make bricks in an environmentally sustainable way (ie using recycled materials, finding a substitute that doesn't rely on petroleum) and hints at possibly looking at how bricks could be recycled or reused at "end of life."
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With natural gas and oils recent erratic pricing, any company that is completely dependent on it as a feedstock will be looking at alternatives.  So I don’t doubt that Lego are looking for alternatives to mitigate risk and reduce costs, and it’s never bad publicity to announce a commitment to sustainability.  

I work automotive and the drive to shift to non-oil based plastics, particularly for in car is pretty significant.

15 years is nothing for a major change to plant. 

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China recently signed an agreement with the US in which, and I swear I am not making this up, "China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030".  In either words, whatever incredibly high, unspecified and as yet unapproached by any nation in the history of the world (China is already the #1 CO2 emitter) emissions number China achieves in "around 2030" will be their peak emissions number, maybe.  This (China) is a nation that knows how to negotiate.  You can read the text of the Whitehouse press release here:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/11/us-china-joint-announcement-climate-change

 

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As long as oil keeps plentifully flowing, their is no real value in change to a more "green" material.  If the demand for oil based plastics drops off faster than oil production, the stuff will just be dumped in a land fill.  

Now putting R&D dollars into alternatives now is just good business sense.  At some point the oil flow will slow, and who ever has the tech and patents to viable alternatives will be sitting pretty.

Also a press release getting LEGO all over the news, during the slowest quarter of the year for toy sales, well thats just good business sense too.  Plus a final nail in that whole window licker news cycle, which honestly may have also been a genius marketing stunt...

Edited by jay4e
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