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Lego And Novo Nordisk To Use Renewable Methanol For Plastics

The world's largest toy maker, Lego, and pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk have reached a deal with renewable firm European Energy to procure methanol produced from renewable energy to replace part of their fossil fuel-derived plastics production.   

Denmark-based European Energy will produce methanol from renewable energy and biogenic CO2, commonly referred to as e-methanol, which will, in turn, be used for plastic production, Lego said on Thursday.

The e-methanol will be produced at European Energy's e-methanol facilities in Kassø, Aabenraa, Denmark. The production of e-methanol will be based on renewable energy from wind and solar plants as well as biogenic CO2. European Energy expects to deliver the first batch of e-methanol in 2024.

The green methanol is expected to replace some fossil-based plastic with lower-carbon alternatives in the future, Lego said. 

By agreeing to buy e-methanol, Denmark's Novo Nordisk is taking a step toward substituting fossil-based plastic with lower-carbon sources to be used in medical devices such as insulin pens. The LEGO Group, for its part, will explore the potential of using e-methanol to make selected elements and expects to develop prototypes in the coming years with a view to commercialization in the longer term.  

"We wish to drive the decarbonisation of our business forward, and as a producer of plastic devices we wish to reduce the use of fossil plastics by engaging with suppliers in our value chain that can provide the necessary solutions such as e-methanol for plastic production," said Dorethe Nielsen, Vice President of Corporate Environmental Strategy at Novo Nordisk. 

Nelleke van der Puil, Vice President of Materials at the LEGO Group, commented, "The project will give us our third sustainable material we've developed alongside bio-PE and prototype bricks made from recycled PET." 

Two years ago, Lego announced a breakthrough that would allow it to produce its legendary bricks from recycled plastic bottles instead of from oil-based plastic. 

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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