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Adidas Is Stepping Up Against Plastics

Friday, Mar. 29, 2019

We’ve talked a lot about our growing plastic problem, about reusable durable plastics, and even how the teenager’s of the world are banding together to protect their future’s.

So, even though it shouldn’t come as any surprise that a major clothing/sports brand would make huge steps in limiting their plastic usage, it still somehow is.


Adidas has made a pledge, that by 2024, they will only use recycled plastics. That’s huge. That’s unheard of. That’s great! But what exactly does that mean?

Well, for starters it means that Adidas is promising that they will no longer use “virgin” plastics, including polyester. And not just in their sportswear (which would by itself make a huge impact) but also in their corporate offices, stores, and warehouses. How much plastic would that mean per year? About 40 tons of it.

Starting this Spring and Summer, Adidas is stating that their clothing line will contain about 41% recycled polyester. The fact that Adidas, a major global brand, is stepping up and making these proactive changes is such a huge step in the right direction. The sad (and happy) fact is, no one is making Adidas do this. They are taking it upon themselves to step up and change everything about the way they work and produce products all because it’s the right thing to do.


If you had to guess, which material would you think is recycled the most? Paper, plastic, iron/steel? If you answered iron and steel, you’d be correct. At a rate of about 90%, iron and steel tip the recycling scales. Paper is next up at around 58% and plastic is a lowly 14%. That number seems shocking, especially when you consider that these numbers are on a worldwide scale.

Clothing companies like H&M are now launching programs to collect old and discarded clothing for recycling so that those textiles do not end up in landfills around the world. In fact, in 2017 H&M collected over 17-tons of textiles (roughly 89 million t-shirts!). Currently, 57% of all materials used by H&M are from either recycled materials or responsibly sourced materials. Their goal is to be at 100% no later than 2030. Check out their plans for moving forward here!

Another giant retailer entering into the world of going “zero-waste” is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is working off of a “circular economy” approach that strays from the tradition of taking resources, making them into products, and then disposing of them. Instead, Wal-Mart wants to save money and the environment by reusing products, relying on renewable energy, and focusing on products that have a smaller environmental footprint. Learn more about Wal-Mart’s zero-waste future here!

Rothy’s is another great company that’s sole purpose is to take plastic water bottles and turn them into comfortable and fun shoes. You could say it’s their “sole” purpose. Every single minute one million water bottles are sold around the world. That number is a wild amount to think about and Rothy’s is doing their best to prevent those bottles from hitting the landfill or our oceans. Check out Rothy’s process on how a water bottle goes from bottle form to shoe form.

We need to applaud companies like Adidas, Rothy’s, H&M, and Wal-Mart. Companies who are taking the very first steps in doing the right thing for our environment and our futures. For more information about what Adidas is doing, check out this link! Also, read this great article by CNN for more information!