Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Sweet! Lego goes sustainable with pieces made from sugarcane

These new Lego plants are made from actual plants. But we bet they still hurt just as much when you step on them barefoot.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Lego wants to make like a tree, and leave non-sustainable products behind.


Recyclers worried about plastic toys clogging landfills, your re-leaf has come. The Lego plants shown above are made from ... plants. Lego has started production on a new range of sustainable Lego bricks that will go on sale in 2018, the company said Thursday. 

"Lego botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future," the Danish company said in a statement.

The new pieces are made from polyethylene, a soft, durable and flexible plastic, but we're betting they're not soft enough to make any difference when you step on one with a bare foot.

"Children and parents will not notice any difference in the quality or appearance of the new elements, because plant-based polyethylene has the same properties as conventional polyethylene," said Tim Brooks, Lego Group vice president for environmental responsibility.

The new sustainable Lego pieces will make up only 1-2 percent of the company's output. Most pieces still are made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, an oil-based plastic.

The company has set a target of 2030 to reach zero waste in its operations. In 2015, the toy maker established the Lego Sustainable Materials Centre to help attain that goal. In 2017, it introduced sustainable paper pulp trays for its Lego advent calendar.

Lego Millennium Falcon: Feast your eyes on 17 gorgeous photos

See all photos