Lego plastic bricks in oceans could be there more than 1,000 years

Last updated at 14:50
Lego-bricksGetty Images

A scientific study looking into how long plastic remains in our oceans has revealed that children's toys like Lego bricks could last more than 1,000 years underwater.

The study at the University of Plymouth predicted that Lego bricks could survive in the ocean for between 100 and 1,300 years.

In 2018, Lego said it was looking to move towards using more sustainable materials in its products and packaging.

The company wants all of its bricks to come from sustainable materials in the next 10 years and has already produced bricks from a type of plastic made from sugarcane.

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Ayshah visited a beach where thousands of Lego pieces had washed in from the sea in 2014
How do scientists know how long the plastics can last?

Obviously, Lego has not been around for more than a thousand years, so we have no physical evidence to show how long it remains in the sea.

However, scientists have carried out detailed tests on the toys.

They studied bricks that had been collected from beach clean ups and compared them to sets bought in the 1970's and 80's.

They looked at the amount of wear and tear the bricks found on the beach had gone through compared to the 70's and 80's bricks.

By looking at the changes they showed over the last few decades, they were then able to determine how long the pieces might be able to last in the marine environment.

Andrew Turner, lead scientist behind the study, said, "It once again shows the importance of people disposing of used items properly to ensure they do not pose problems for the environment."

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