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Brief: How Lego can create a circular economy

Their leader, “Lego Teaches a Lesson in Business Innovation” (FT View, Jul 3) failed to mention that Lego’s toys were made entirely of wood before the plastic block, which is a far more sustainable material. Switching to recycled plastic is certainly a technical challenge, but hardly innovative; also no vegetable plastics, which have been around for some time.

In both cases, the real challenge lies in the supply chain, for which Lego will have to rely on an industry that is still heavily dependent on mandates and subsidies.

A real paradigm shift for Lego would be to stop selling building kits, which, contrary to what the article claims, usually end up as loose pieces scattered around the house, and instead switch to an “experience” -based business model where kids (and Adults) can pay a flat fee for a few hours to assemble and disassemble anything that conjures their imaginations.

The die-hard collectors who want to spend thousands of dollars to own a limited edition set can still do so; but for the vast majority of enthusiasts, it’s the fun of playing rather than owning Lego that matters. There are already some online services that rent sets; Lego could easily start a franchise and make sure all the bricks they make are taken into account, the dream of circular economy advocates!

Madhav Acharya
Vienna, VA, USA

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