Researchers from the University of Plymouth discovered that LEGO bricks can last for 1300 years in a marine environment. The researchers measured the mass of colorful bricks found along the coastlines of England against unused pieces, along with the age of bricks in storage. The research proves that LEGO bricks can last for centuries! Geek.com has more details:
This research, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, reinforces the message that people need to think twice about how they dispose of household items.
“LEGO is one of the most popular children’s toys in history and part of its appeal has always been its durability,” according to lead study author Andrew Turner, an associate professor at the University of Plymouth.
“It is specifically designed to be played with and handled, so it may not be especially surprising that despite potentially being in the sea for decades it isn’t significantly worn down,” he said in a statement. “However, the full extent of its durability was even a surprise to us.”
Fifty pieces of weathered LEGO—made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and collected from beaches in Cornwall—were washed and weighed in labs at the university.
The chemical characteristics of each block were determined using an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer, the results of which confirmed age based on the presence of certain elements no longer in use.
“The pieces we tested had smoothed and discolored, with some of the structures having fractured and fragmented, suggesting that as well as pieces remaining intact they might also break down into microplastics,” Turner explained.
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