What began as a novelty is fast becoming a commercial success story, as Adidas expands its line of products made from recycled ocean plastic, according to Business Insider.
Working with the environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans, the sportswear giant is using fibers created from items recovered from the oceans (such as plastic nets, bags, and bottles) to create shoes and garments.
It’s part of the brand’s larger strategy of eliminating virgin plastic from its supply chain.
Take Action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics
To that end, the brand has replaced plastic bags with paper in all of its stores. In 2017, the company avoided 70 million plastic bags, Business Insider reports.
The brand launched its ocean plastic line with a pair of running sneakers that sold 1 million pairs in 2016. Since then, the brand has made a series of sports and lifestyle products.
Now the brand is making outdoor gear, according to Business Insider, bringing the total number of its ocean plastic products to 97.
While Adidas on its own can’t deal with the problem of plastic waste in the oceans, its efforts can help raise awareness of what has become an emergency.
Since 1950, humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, a weight equivalent to 1 billion elephants. Today, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year, which is like emptying a garbage truck full of plastic into an ocean every minute.
All of this plastic is causing great harm to marine life and even makes its way into what we eat and drink.
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The movement to protect the oceans is gaining momentum in both private and public sectors.
To get at the root of the problem, at least 16 cities, states, and countries have banned various forms of single-use plastic.
Major companies, meanwhile, are ridding plastic from their supply chains. McDonald’s is bringing sustainable packaging to all of its locations, Starbucks has invested in more sustainable cups, and clothing brands like Timberland are recovering plastic and turning it into products as well.
Adidas, however, has distinguished itself as a major player in the space with its Parley for the Oceans line.
Read More: The Long, Strange Journey of a Plastic Bag
Global Citizen campaigns on eliminating single-use plastics and you can take action on this issue here.