Dear Lego, Forget about the Blocks- Stop Making Single Use Plastic Bags Today!

by - Friday, January 31, 2020

One of my goals for this year is to write company a month to point out I notice their crappy environmental policies. It's easy and fast to do, so join me! They only know we care if we say so with our money and our words. 

Dear Lego, Forget about the Blocks- Stop Making Single Use Plastic Bags Today!

Dear, Lego

We are extreme lego fans in this house. Where I have been able to stop the flow of almost all plastic toys, my boys absolutely cannot resist the building, instructions, and endless opportunity of your tiny little blocks. They even want to keep looking at the boxes! Now grandparents, uncles, and aunts love buying them these sets as gifts.

This year, we took them to Legoland as their big Christmas gift, and they loved it. I, on the other hand, felt kind of uneasy.

Legoland (at least in California) is a weird combination of efforts to cut waste-making, lecturing their visitors on (pretty lame) ways to cut their personal consumption (at the entrance/exit of a gift shopping selling plastic toys in plastic packaging), and some surprising gems of actual green changes.
- The hotel room had (maybe) refillable shampoo bottles next to single use plastic water bottles.
- The restaurants had compostable plates and plastic silverware and lids.
- Plastic toys everywhere. Clothing and other items all made in countries that do not regulate their labor.

It's like Legoland will happily admit plastic is a problem, but maybe not one they personally feel responsible to solve. When you walk out of one of the rides (and into the gift shop), you can see this sign:

What about you, Legos? You are part of the problem, what more can you do about it? I am so glad you are doing something, and I am grateful brands are taking this up, but we both know this problem is bigger than plastic straws on the beach.

Ok, I get that if you are going to a theme park devoted to a brand of plastic toys, you are going to be hard pressed to find much of anything else. I mean, how high of a horse can you get on? That said, I think this points to a larger problem that Lego has (and can solve).

A few years ago, Lego got some good press for saying they were trying to come up with an alternative to the plastic they make their toys with. Now, there is talk that they will make their blocks out of everything from sugar to hemp. That is dang cool, and I hope that you find an amazing solution.

But Lego's blocks aren't your  biggest problem- it's their single-use, pure garbage, better options ALREADY available plastic bags.

Much like the small efforts wrapped in large blindpots at Legoland, your legos come wrapped in your biggest blind spot- single use plastic bags. There are usually a handful of these plastic bags in every box.

Let's do some simple math.
Online estimates suggest that 7 lego sets are sold every second. (Wow!)
Let's make the (very) conservative guess that there are 5 plastic bags in each one (some have way more).
That means that Lego sells 35 single use plastic bags a second.
That's 2,100 a minute.
That's 126,000 instant garbage plastic bags in an hour.
About 3 million single use plastic bags a DAY
Ok, are you ready for this? 1,103,760,000 single use plastic bags a year.

Holy crap. ONE BILLION. And that is the conservative guess.

If only someone had already come up with alternatives to plastic bags! Lego, you could save our planet from a billion pieces of totally useless plastic a year.

Thanks for what you are doing already, but you can take this first step now. People have already solved this problem, so while you are working on blocks, you can totally solve the bag problem. You could try recycled paper boxes or bags. You could also do a plant-based or compostable plastic bag.

It's time to start making REAL changes where it makes the most positive difference (instead of just getting you the most press). All toy manufacturers need to abandon plastic packaging completely. Be a trend setter and let's see who follows suit.

It's clear you know that our world is in trouble and that plastics are a major part of the mess we are in. You can do so much good by making this change. Why not get started now?

Sincerely, Sunshine Guerrilla

Dear Lego, Forget about the Blocks- Stop Making Single Use Plastic Bags Today!

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