Kickstart: Another Lego building project

It's time to build something with Legos. Or rather, it's time to build something for Lego A/S -- a bigger manufacturing hub in China. The Danish toymaker is adding more than 400,000 square feet of molding and assembly operations to its Jiaxing, China, facility to meet increased demand in  Asia.

"We are excited that the work to further expand our factory in Jiaxing has begun. Since opening the factory in 2016, we've built a world-class manufacturing facility with a highly skilled and motivated workforce," Richard Wong, senior vice president and general manager for Lego's Asia manufacturing, said in a Jan.

3 announcement. The Jiaxing site currently has about 1,200 employees.

Lego did not say how many people it will add with the expansion. Work is expected to be completed in 2024. Lego's Jiaxing plant also has 17,400 rooftop solar panels, able to generate more than 7,000 megawatt hours of power annually.

California's recycling system is under scrutiny for both rigid and flexible packaging. Plastics News' Steve Toloken took a deep dive last week into the debate on the labels on bags and film packaging. A statewide commission wants to remove what environmental groups see as confusing labels - any recycling language or chasing arrows variants on bags or pouches that they claim could lead consumers to think that they can put plastic film in curbside bins.

Even if the labels are intended to direct consumers to store drop-off sites, critics said, the lack of requirements for stores to have those drop-offs frustrates shoppers. "[Consumers are] going to have to go to 30 stores to recycle a damn bag? No, they're going to throw it in the trash," Heidi Sanborn, chair of the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling, said. "Right now the messaging they're getting on labels is not clear.

It's not even truthful." Meanwhile, California's bottle recycling program is the target of a report claiming massive fraud within the system. The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog said in a Jan.

6 report that there are so many loopholes within the system that companies can get paid twice for the same containers or file false statements for payment. The report points to the need for a modern, automated bottle deposit system, like those in other bottle deposit states. Consumer Watchdog urges the state to adopt an extended producer responsibility system at stores and recycling centers to eliminate opportunities for fraud.

There's a different kind of recycling question at hand for wind energy companies that are trying to determine what to do with aging turbine blades. The World Economic Forum notes that while turbine blade makers such as Siemens are making fully recyclable blades now, those made in the 1990s will soon be removed from active duty but need to find a second use. It turns out there are quite a few options for a strong but lightweight blade.

A city in Denmark has converted an old blade into a roof for bicycle parking.

In Ireland, University College, Cork, plans to use blades for a bridge on a pedestrian and cycling path.

And in the United Kingdom, blades are being used to reinforce concrete in a construction project.