Close up of Lego blocks

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Toy company Lego is to start phasing out plastic bags in its packaging from 2021 as it moves towards recyclable paper ones.

Lego said it had received letters from children asking it to remove single-use plastic.

It said it would be investing up to $400m (£310m) over three years to improve its sustainability efforts.

Lego bricks themselves are made of plastic, although the company is exploring alternative materials.

“As a company who looks to children as our role models, we are inspired by the millions of kids who have called for more urgent action on climate change,” Lego Group chief executive Niels B Christiansen said.

“We have received many letters from children about the environment asking us to remove single-use plastic packaging,” he added.

The toy company will begin to phase out single-use plastic bags in Lego boxes to package the loose bricks from next year, when it will trial recyclable paper bags.

This is part of Lego’s ambition to make all its packaging sustainable by the end of 2025.

“Children liked the paper bags being trialled in 2021 as they were environmentally friendly and easy to open,” Mr Christiansen added.

In 2015, Lego set a target to make its products from sustainable materials by 2030. As part of this pledge it will expand the use of bio-bricks, such as those using sugar cane as a component.

Pressure has been growing on retailers to reduce their use of plastic bags and packaging.