The soft, durable and flexible polyethylene plastic, made using ethanol produced from sugar cane, is being used to produce the brand's leaf, bush and tree-shaped elements.
"At the LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials", Brooks said in the press release.
Using plant-based plastic is part of Lego's commitment to transition toward sustainable material for their standard products and packaging by 2030.
"It is essential that companies in each industry find ways to responsibly source their product materials and help ensure a future where people, nature, and the economy thrive", said Alix Grabowski, a senior program officer at WWF.More news: Korea has used chemical weapons
The company's announcement describes the plant-based pieces' composition as "technically identical" to its standard blocks' materials, and Lego notes the new pieces have been tested to meet the company's standards. Lego did not confirm whether the hold-up is due to larger piece designs, sugarcane polyethylene production sourcing, green tint from that specific kind of polyethylene, or other issues. It has set a target of 2030 to reach zero waste in operations, and previous year introduced sustainable paper pulp trays for its Lego advent calendar, to reduce plastic waste going to landfill.
Since 1963, Lego bricks have been made with a strong oil-based plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the Guardian reported.
Children and parents would not notice any difference when the new pieces are rolled out, said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group.
The material will be sourced from sugarcane - though, no, they won't be edible.
However, at the end of the day the core business for the company comes first, and LEGO as just confirmed a major change to its production. Several aspects influence the sustainability of a material. The company is also targeting zero waste in their operations.