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TLG gets greener (ie. more environment friendly)


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#1 Sandy

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 11:13 AM

Today, I'm prouder than ever to call myself an adult fan of LEGO.

Check this out: http://aboutus.lego....cle/334982.aspx

Quote

The LEGO Group has taken several steps to reduce the environmental impact of packaging materials and paper used in LEGO® products.

“There are three key areas where the LEGO Group is working at reducing the impact on the environment when it comes to packaging materials for our products,” says Helle Sofie Kaspersen, Vice President Corporate Governance and Sustainability, the LEGO Group.

The first and most ambitious goal is to reduce the amount of packaging materials used. As documented in the Progress Report 2010 the LEGO Group is actively working towards this.

“Secondly we will always use recycled fiber when it is possible from a chemical product safety point of view. Last year more than 75 percent of the packaging material the LEGO Group use for packaging is actually made from recycled material,” says Helle Sofie Kaspersen, and adds:

“Thirdly when it is not possible to use recycled fibers, we must ensure, that the pulp based packaging we use is produced in a sustainable manner.”

The LEGO Group has taken action to ensure this, as decision is made to use only FSC certified fibers in packaging materials for LEGO products in future.

“We have been working towards this for several months, and are currently developing an ambitious implementation plan to meet our objectives in this area. We expect to be well under way in a year’s time,” says Helle Sofie Kaspersen.

While the LEGO Group will only use FSC certified fibers in packaging materials in future Helle Sofie Kaspersen acknowledges, that it will be more difficult to control, if suppliers in addition to FSC certified fibers also manufacture paper based materials which leads to deforestation.

“However, it is our intent that we will only source material from suppliers that are not involved in deforestation,” says Helle Sofie Kaspersen.

The LEGO Group plans to continue with regular updates to stakeholders about the implementation of this and other aspects of the sustainability area

It's not just green washing, either. TLG has taken some serious steps towards sustainability and preventing deforestation. Thumbs up, TLG! :thumbup:

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#2 ManitobaMoe

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 12:53 PM

Well any time they want, they can reduce the size of the box to reflect the amount of lego in it. Not only would this save them on box material, it would reduce their shipping costs.

#3 fyrmedhatt

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:16 PM

View PostManitobaMoe, on 08 July 2011 - 12:53 PM, said:

Well any time they want, they can reduce the size of the box to reflect the amount of lego in it. Not only would this save them on box material, it would reduce their shipping costs.

In that regard they have improved greatly, when I compare last years 50 dollar sets (Escape from the Dragon Tower) to this years Hogwarts, the packaging takes up far less volume. Many sets seem to have shrunk, especially depthwise, which is an ingenious way of still getting display real estate.

As long as these packaging changes doesn't compromise the safety of the product inside (which it shouldn't), I'm all for it.

#4 Darkdragon

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:52 PM

View Postfyrmedhatt, on 08 July 2011 - 02:16 PM, said:

In that regard they have improved greatly, when I compare last years 50 dollar sets (Escape from the Dragon Tower) to this years Hogwarts, the packaging takes up far less volume. Many sets seem to have shrunk, especially depthwise, which is an ingenious way of still getting display real estate.


I was noticing the same thing. Especially with the PoTC and Ninjago medium size sets. It's great that I can now fit even more in my shopping bag!   :laugh:

Truthfully though, less waste is a great step forward. I've always been annoyed with how large the boxes are compared to how much is in there.

#5 vexorian

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:55 PM

I'll believe it when canisters are erased from existence.

#6 ZO6

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 05:13 PM

I'm very glad to see TLC doing many things to be more environmentally friendly.  I personally think that the smaller box sizes are fantastic, and are a positive change for many different people.  It's a shame though that the instruction booklets are many times longer than they were in the past.  Multiple 40-80 page booklets for sets that would have used a single 30 page one in the past is ridiculous.

#7 Brickdoctor

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:07 PM

Hurray for TLG! :classic:

The packaging size is the only thing I'd noticed before reading that article, and it's nice to hear that's not the only thing TLG is doing to become greener.

Edited by Brickdoctor, 08 July 2011 - 06:08 PM.


#8 Follows Closely

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:16 PM

I am not impressed, this is a small step and does not cost the company much if anything.  If TLG wants to be green, they would cut the size of all boxes down by 1/2 at least.
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#9 vexorian

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:20 PM

View PostFollows Closely, on 08 July 2011 - 06:16 PM, said:

I am not impressed, this is a small step and does not cost the company much if anything.  If TLG wants to be green, they would cut the size of all boxes down by 1/2 at least.
There's probably a need for some empty space in the boxes, else there would be quite a risk for damage of the bricks. Also, with too small a box, instructions would have to become smaller or would arrive bended.

To be honest. Instructions/boxes don't make me too worried environmentally because they are easily recyclable. Boxes should be smaller because that will reduce shipping and handling costs. Instructions I think are fine being as large as they are now. I compare them with old sets, and the old sets' can get vague at times. I mean, green is great but it shouldn't go in detriment of quality.

Edited by vexorian, 08 July 2011 - 06:22 PM.


#10 Pingles

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 06:21 PM

And make the bricks bio-degradable so every few years you have to buy all new ones!

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#11 davee123

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:34 PM

View Postvexorian, on 08 July 2011 - 06:20 PM, said:

There's probably a need for some empty space in the boxes, else there would be quite a risk for damage of the bricks.

How so? I would think the opposite, in fact, due to the fact that with larger boxes, the bricks have more ability to move around, and can thus bash into each other, increasing the risk of scratching (not to mention allowing the instructions and stickers to flop around and get folded over and bent).

The one that I'm curious about is the small baggies that aren't explicitly labeled as "recyclable". Why not? Are they recyclable but not printed as such? Or are they truly not recyclable? If not, why not? And, most places won't recycle the labeled baggies because they're too small (even if I have boatloads). Where can I go to recycle them?

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#12 Darkdragon

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:43 PM

View Postdavee123, on 08 July 2011 - 07:34 PM, said:

And, most places won't recycle the labeled baggies because they're too small (even if I have boatloads). Where can I go to recycle them?

DaveE

I put all the bags and boxes in my Recycle bin that is picked up every two weeks. I don't know what they do with it but I'm hoping it goes to recycle and not the landfill.

#13 Zeya

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:13 PM

Using recycled materials for packaging is good. But I will say that I often see press releases from most consumer product-based companies touting their improvements in packaging. This is usually the lowest-hanging-fruit as far as the cost of improvement is concerned. Unfortunately, other improvements tend to come with a significant hit to overhead costs and if there's not a law requiring certain things, they become deemed too expensive to address.

So basically, things like this are good to hear. TLG seems like a great company and I'm sure they're following all health, environmental, and human rights laws. Let's just say I hope to see more reports like this in the future, extending into other physical aspects of the product.

Edited by Zeya, 08 July 2011 - 09:14 PM.


#14 brickmack

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:27 PM

That's good I guess... Now they just need to shorten the booklets, and find a way to make ABS without petroleum... (I worry about the day the world runs out of petroleum, what happens to LEGO? It's only 100 something years away...)

#15 ziljin

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:54 PM

View Postdavee123, on 08 July 2011 - 07:34 PM, said:

How so? I would think the opposite, in fact, due to the fact that with larger boxes, the bricks have more ability to move around, and can thus bash into each other, increasing the risk of scratching (not to mention allowing the instructions and stickers to flop around and get folded over and bent).

The one that I'm curious about is the small baggies that aren't explicitly labeled as "recyclable". Why not? Are they recyclable but not printed as such? Or are they truly not recyclable? If not, why not? And, most places won't recycle the labeled baggies because they're too small (even if I have boatloads). Where can I go to recycle them?

DaveE

I learned about this in a computer class (It was talking about electronic waste but the professor talked about recycling in general as well). Plastic is supposed to be categorized into 7 types (the number in the recycle symbol). Turns out for the US at least, only Type 1 and Type 2 are recycled. The rest is trash because of non plastic impurities inside those products making them expensive to separate and recycle. Plastic bags are generally made out of the non recyclable plastic. For the plastic bags that are recyclable, my state says not to put them in the recycling bin. Because the bags will get contaminated from being mixed with cans and jugs since those usually contain some sort of foodstuff.

#16 Dazmundo

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:22 PM

Around here in the UK we can recycle plastic types 1-6 which basically covers the vast majority of stuff, we just put it in the box and it is collected once a fortnight. So I can recycle my bags

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#17 Mr_Malfoy

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 03:00 PM

I'm glad TLG is going green. As for smaller box sizes, I also saw the Burrow in a smaller box (It was so small, I would feel ripped off spending $60 on a small box, but I got it last year in a large box, so no worries for me).
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#18 Brickdoctor

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:15 PM

View PostDazmundo, on 08 July 2011 - 10:22 PM, said:

Around here in the UK we can recycle plastic types 1-6 which basically covers the vast majority of stuff, we just put it in the box and it is collected once a fortnight. So I can recycle my bags
In parts of the US we can, too. Some areas even recycle #7 plastic. I would recycle my bags, but I'm the kind of person who doesn't get rid of anything related to LEGO.

#19 brickmack

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:33 PM

View PostBrickdoctor, on 09 July 2011 - 05:15 PM, said:

In parts of the US we can, too. Some areas even recycle #7 plastic. I would recycle my bags, but I'm the kind of person who doesn't get rid of anything related to LEGO.
So, you really just have a big pile somewhere of opened up bags? :sceptic: (What exactly is the reason behind this? No one would buy an opened bag, LEGO won't take them back, most likely you can't use them for anything (Depending on how the bag is opened), and I doubt there is a collectors market for them?)

#20 prateek

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:37 PM

Excellent. I've always worried about how much packaging toys use, but I am happy to see at least Lego is taking steps forward to reduce waste :thumbup:

#21 Brickdoctor

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:40 PM

View Postbrickmack, on 09 July 2011 - 05:33 PM, said:

So, you really just have a big pile somewhere of opened up bags? :sceptic: (What exactly is the reason behind this? No one would buy an opened bag, LEGO won't take them back, most likely you can't use them for anything (Depending on how the bag is opened), and I doubt there is a collectors market for them?)
The bags go into the boxes, which I also keep. No practical reason, I just don't get rid of them.

#22 ManitobaMoe

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:45 PM

I work in a recycling facility and the bags are considered Plastic Film. While for most recycling you get paid by the ton, recycling facilities actually have to the receiver to take plastic film. All plastics grades of plastics are recyclables in North America but since there is no market for a lot of grades, the are tossed into the garbage instead because it is cheaper. I actually look forward to the day when we here in North America are forced to recycle like they are in eastern countries. Just because we have cheap land to toss it into, doesnt mean that is what should be done.

I have bought a number of lego sets this year and although i agree they have smaller boxes, they still have a lot of room in them. What is on the outside of the box doesnt influence my purchase so i could careless if they had less room for graphics

#23 Aanchir

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:45 PM

View Postlego40k, on 08 July 2011 - 09:54 PM, said:

I learned about this in a computer class (It was talking about electronic waste but the professor talked about recycling in general as well). Plastic is supposed to be categorized into 7 types (the number in the recycle symbol). Turns out for the US at least, only Type 1 and Type 2 are recycled. The rest is trash because of non plastic impurities inside those products making them expensive to separate and recycle. Plastic bags are generally made out of the non recyclable plastic. For the plastic bags that are recyclable, my state says not to put them in the recycling bin. Because the bags will get contaminated from being mixed with cans and jugs since those usually contain some sort of foodstuff.
Not the case nationwide-- the recycling center near where I live accepts numbers one through seven without argument.

Most BIONICLE canisters are number 1, which can be recycled pretty much anywhere in the US I think. But I wouldn't want to do that in any event-- they're very useful for storing and transporting the actual sets, and if I ever stop needing them for that purpose I'll be able to find something else to store in them. My family has no shortage of odds-and-ends with no place to keep them, and BIONICLE canisters are usually every bit as useful for that as Tupperware, Play-Doh cans, or the other odd containers my dad uses.

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#24 paul_delahaye

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

View PostManitobaMoe, on 08 July 2011 - 12:53 PM, said:

Well any time they want, they can reduce the size of the box to reflect the amount of lego in it. Not only would this save them on box material, it would reduce their shipping costs.

It would also reduce my box storage issue  :wink:

I currently prefer the boxes now where you can open both ends of the box by cutting the tape, they do store easier when flat packed.

View PostFollows Closely, on 08 July 2011 - 06:16 PM, said:

I am not impressed, this is a small step and does not cost the company much if anything.  If TLG wants to be green, they would cut the size of all boxes down by 1/2 at least.

Is the size of the box not something to do with their marketing plan, i.e. show the real size of the product the child is going to get once it is made?

View Postvexorian, on 08 July 2011 - 06:20 PM, said:

There's probably a need for some empty space in the boxes, else there would be quite a risk for damage of the bricks. Also, with too small a box, instructions would have to become smaller or would arrive bended.

The airline sets are always densely packaged, there is never any room inside those boxes for air, to minimise storage space on aeroplanes I guess.  I've never seen any sign of parts damage on this style of set from the past few years. so all the sets could have less air, the thinner boxes are definately a step in the right direction

#25 Aanchir

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:08 PM

View Postpaul_delahaye, on 10 July 2011 - 10:34 AM, said:

Is the size of the box not something to do with their marketing plan, i.e. show the real size of the product the child is going to get once it is made?
I have doubts about this, and here's why: back in 2008-2009, when boxes were known to be oversized compared to their contents, I discovered something interesting about the boxes for large sets: at least one image, whether on the front or the back of the box, would be approximately actual size (if memory serves this was invariably the larger of the two images). This was one of several reasons I objected to smaller box sizes-- this would not be possible many times on a smaller box, since the image was already tight for space on the current box size. In other words, while the parts of the set took up only a small portion of the box, the constructed set took up most or all of the space on the box front.

Smaller boxes, in my opinion, could be misleading in terms of size, since the image on the box oftentimes can no longer reflect the actual size of the model. Thankfully, TLG has apparently dealt with this to an extent by changing the depth of each box more than the height or width. This allows the size of front and back images to be largely maintained. I can't help but think this was deliberate-- if a parent buys a kid a buildable castle, they're more likely to assume the size of the castle will be reflected by the image (unless a human child is pictured for scale) than that the size of the box reflects how densely-packed the individual contents will be.

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