Lego blocks are an iconic toy for every child — but what if there was a more sustainable version of the plastic blocks that we all know and love? Since the 1930s, over 400 billion Lego blocks have been created from plastic. That’s roughly 80 Lego bricks for every person on Earth!
Although, some amazing companies like Mokulock are going against the grain and creating sustainable change in the plastic-dominated toy industry.
Keep on reading to discover the timber-based, sustainable alternative to plastic Lego!
Lego’s Plastic Pollution
Unfortunately, all of that plastic will be with us for an extremely long time. According to a study published in Environmental Pollution, individual Lego blocks can take up to 1,300 years to break down in the ocean; leaving behind microplastics that will continue to harm our precious marine life.
As much as we all love Lego, it’s hard to picture the massive scale of production and disposal — not to mention the huge amounts of fossil fuels required to actually make the plastic.
When we think of ways to reduce our plastic waste, toys don’t usually come to mind. The stark reality is that unless plastic toys are handed down, gifted, or re-sold, the majority of plastic toys will end up in landfill.
What is Mokulock?
Mokulock is a Japanese company that makes sustainably sourced timber building blocks! Their timber bricks are a similar shape and size to standard Lego, but they don’t contain any plastic — which means that, unlike standard Lego, the Mokulock bricks are entirely biodegradable.
But don’t worry, the company isn’t chopping down forests just to make the bricks! When forests are thinned out, there’s often a lot of smaller trees that are too thin for architectural purposes or furniture-making. The timber to make the blocks is retrieved from the thin trees, which are typically discarded in normal practices.
Mokulock uses timber from Japanese Cherry, Japanese Zelkova, Japanese Bigleaf Magnolia, Birch, Hornbeam, and Maple trees to construct their building blocks. This means that there’s a range of different earthy colours and textures from the different wood. Pretty cool, right? The beautiful, muted shades are super gentle on the eyes, which we love.
Wooden toys are better for kids!
The Mokulock bricks are unique because they’re simple, natural and unprocessed. Unlike colourful Lego, the Mokulock bricks aren’t treated with finishers, toxic paint or glue — they’re simply sanded down for a soft, splinter-free finish. This is great news for kids! There’s actually some evidence to suggest that playing with wooden toys is great for kids’ wellbeing, because the appearance, scent and feel of timber mimics being immersed in nature.
According to Mokulock, “Similar to forest bathing, wood has the same healing effect: lowering blood pressure, reducing pulse disturbance, calming the feelings… and by making it into a block shape, It can also be expected to enhance the imagination given to everyone and the ability to create something out of nothing,” the company says.
Plus, according to Little Big Learning, bright, loud, plastic toys can actually be over-stimulating for little minds. Wooden toys, on the other hand, are great for kids’ brain development because they need to be pushed, pulled, manipulated, explored — it needs YOU to make it work, rather than the batteries.
We absolutely love what this company is doing to sustainably reinvent the iconic Lego brick! Would you consider buying Mokulock building blocks for your kids instead of Lego?
Enjoy reading about interesting examples of sustainable innovation?
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