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LEGO considers hemp bricks, while a new construction company takes inspiration


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Hemp has a lot more useful properties that making ponchos and CBD. Now, companies are looking into its uses in plastics.


LEGO, the beloved children’s building toy brand, is mulling the move to more environmentally-friendly hemp for the creation of its blocks. Meanwhile, a new company is looking to use hemp and a LEGO-inspired brick design to make housing construction more innovative, simple and green.


According to sources online, LEGO Project Manager Allan Rasmussen said the company is interested in transitioning completely away from oil-based to hemp-based plastics in their toys by the year 2030. [2]


That’s a tall order, seeing as the company currently produces 19 million new LEGO bricks every year. [1]


The bricks are currently molded from ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, but LEGO sources hope they’ll be able to make new ones of hemp that work just the same. [2]


Hemp products are a two-pronged approach to environmental question, as the hemp is both renewable because it can be grown organically in the ground, but also recycles and disintegrates much better than plastics, which could ease the excessive plastic waste problems facing both landfills and the ocean.


But toys aren’t where the possibilities for plant-based materials end. In fact, companies are turning to building stuff far larger than LEGO dioramas.


Just BioFiber, a Canadian company, has created a hemp-based alternative to cinder blocks that offers the locking abilities of LEGO pieces for maximum sturdiness and versatility in a lightweight and green package. [4]


The bricks have pegs and holes on their tops and bottoms, and they’re made of a cutting edge hemp concrete blend which may just make them the next trend in construction.


But wait… Do people want “trendy” construction practices for their house or business? Well, luckily the hemp based concrete is super fire resistant, too. They can face down temperatures as high as 1500 degrees, according to Geek.com. [3]


They’re also highly “breathable” and don’t mold in dank spaces like cinder blocks would.

"The No. 1 advantage to having a hemp building is probably the indoor air quality for the occupants,” Just BioFiber CEO Terry Radford told CBC. [4]


Other types of hempcrete building materials have needed extended periods to dry out before use, making them impractical on some build sites. Redford said he has high hopes that his manufacturing process that cuts down on that problem will make his product competitive.


Hempcrete with LEGO aspects also obviates the need for steel grating and rebar, which is another benefit that could make the materials viable in the future.


Sources

[1] https://medium.com/@louisarthuroneill/brick-by-brick-could-lego-be-made-from-hemp-plastic-c4c083985ed5

[2] https://realcannabisentrepreneur.com/blog/cannabis/lego-goes-to-hemp-plastic-by-2030-the-kids-are-going-green/

[3] https://www.geek.com/news/harmless-home-built-from-lego-inspired-bricks-made-with-hemp-1758380/

[4] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/biofiber-hemp-lime-lego-bricks-co2-negative-calgary-sustainability-1.5169542?fbclid=IwAR0d9Ors7757c-Su_u1C1CXHyPLPq9n3IdhMdAqOq5Te4A1I5d1znllLBpk

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