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Will LEGO start asking you to send back used bricks?

prevereprevere Member Posts: 2,923
Story from Mattel on takebacks on used toys. Wonder if LEGO is next given their sustainability initiatives?


  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I doubt they would use it for toys, instead just recycling it into a low grade plastic for other uses. And is the carbon footprint of shipping so much waste plastic around the globe really worth it.

    If your bricks are that bad that they can't be sold or donated to someone else to continue using them, then they won't be good enough to recycle into a high grade material. LEGO would really need to carefully sort out any dangerous contaminants before producing toys that are likely to go into a child's mouth at some stage. 

    I think it better to continue to highlight the longevity of their product and hence it should be reused rather than suggest unwanted items should be recycled.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,217
    ^ Lots of cat turds, for sure!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    edited May 2021
    With technology these days, they could likely break down these old parts into their components and reuse what they can (Doesn't LEGO already mix some recycled material into their new parts now?). I just wish they could do it. I scoff at the idea of 'donating' brick that is obviously no longer a playable toy (like really chewed on, or broken brick and plates), but even then broken LEGO parts can probably be broken down to components that LEGO could use. I would much rather donate new/newish sets that have a higher quality.
    I think LEGO was talking about something like this and thought they had a pilot program somewhere in Europe for this where you could return product to them, but I think you had to pay postage,  but apparently nothing came of it. I wish they could/would (and pay postage). I cannot count the number of busted brick that I have had to chuck away to a landfill (which Im guessing is still far worse than LEGO getting it back to try to recycle whatever it could from the stock).
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    What do you mean into their components? Do you mean depolymerizing them and extracting the dyes? 

    They use their plastic wasre from their own factories where they know the colour and the purity, but I cannot see them using plastic collected from others that could contain anything and would need sorting.
  • LyichirLyichir Member Posts: 1,009
    Isn't Lego Replay already pretty much the same idea? They aren't "recycling" old bricks, granted, but the general durability and reusability of Lego bricks means they'd rarely need to.

    It's good to see Mattel doing this but it's weird to see people acting like they're the first to offer this kind of service.
  • MaffyDMaffyD Member Posts: 3,500
    I saw this story on my Google feed from Fox Business and I immediately thought how it didn't apply to Lego. They're just so durable and so endlessly usable. My eldest daughter still has all her Monster High dolls though - they're now a collectible item. I imagine the same will be true of some of these Barbie dolls (I still want a Barbie Arwen, but that ship has definitely sailed).

    Side note: the comments on that Fox story were really... aggressive. It was quite sad.
  • ShropshireShropshire Member Posts: 652
    Having visited the factory I think this would not work for TLG, here is my reasoning.

    In the factory, sprues go back in the hopper - same colour etc.. anything else goes into large bins such as multi-colour plastic from when they change colours over - are all shredded and sold to a company who use it to make household goods such as buckets where it's mixed in ratio with darker colours i.e. someone making black plastic buckets can mix in x% of any colour. They shred it locally to stop bricks ending up for sale that don't meet their quality standards.. even when we cheekily asked if we could "just take one" on the tour it was a polite but firm no.

    In Lego Project House, when asking about the designer drawers - i.e. the "full set" they use to create with - we asked how it gets topped up as you use parts - the response was they don't as it's too much work - instead now and again the whole lot gets taken away and shredded (as above) and the designer gets an entire new set.

    When on the building event in the evening, where we had trays of the "entire system" to use, again they commented they'd be taken away and shredded as it was better to sell it to the secondary market to be turned into buckets than to sort through it all.

    In Lego House - we asked how often they "clean" the bricks and figures that people play with - the response was it takes too much energy/effort to clean as well as space - so every few days they send it all for shredding (as above) and get new bricks.. i.e. even the bricks around the waterfall etc are brand new every few days.

    So.. I think personally that if it's not worth reusing mixed items that are in the same small town as the factory - as it's easier to sell on to get a second life... the energy in transport etc alone would make any distribution of used bricks really environmentally unfriendly.

    I personally think Lego don't need to overly worry, when you've got a pedigree that is the first brick from the 50's still fits the brick made yesterday... and you can hand down through generations, sell it on, give it away it's about as far aware from single-use plastic as you can get.
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