Football is back!

It’s been exactly 24 days since the 2018 World Cup final — and there's only so many times you can watch back England beating Colombia on penalties before itchy feet kicks in.

While the Premier League restarts on Friday, it’s a whole week more until the Spanish La Liga joins them. And Champions League winners Real Madrid might be donning something special to mark the occasion.

Take Action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

Real Madrid has revealed its new third kit for the 2018/19 season — and it’s made entirely from ocean plastic waste.

The pink strip was designed by Parley Ocean Plastic in collaboration with Adidas, and imitates the colour of different types of coral under threat from plastic pollution.

The environmentally friendly garbs were unveiled at an all-star event with world-class players Marcelo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema at Hunters Point in New York City. It was even modelled by a brand new signing: the fictional Alex Hunter, a digital character in the FIFA video game series.

And the kit was worn for the first time on Tuesday as Real Madrid beat Italian side Roma in their final game of their pre-season US tour.

Read More: 5 Former Refugees Who Kicked Ass in the World Cup

“Real Madrid has the power to amplify our message, to share it with their massive global following and to bring it to life with their own decisions and actions,” said Cyrill Gutsch from Parley Ocean Plastic.

After the launch, the club hosted workshops on how the public can cut down on plastic waste.

Adidas has worked with nonprofit Parley for the Oceans since it first created trainers from retrieved ocean plastic in 2015. Every shoe is 95% plastic and made from 11 plastic bottles — and in 2016, it sold over a million pairs.

Now, the partnership has expanded into hoodies, swimwear, trousers, and more, with high-profile partnerships making more noise than ever about the threat plastic poses to our oceans.

Read More: Adidas Is Making Even More Clothes From Recycled Ocean Plastic

Each year an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans; the equivalent of emptying a lorry full of plastic into the sea every minute. It means that plastic gets into the food we eat, and into the diet of marine life — killing hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, and other sea animals annually.

And as 380 million tonnes of plastic continues to get produced every year, countries are stepping up to legislate. Taiwan banned single-use plastic bags, straws, utensils, and cups in February, while both Britain and Canada have made microbeads — tiny pieces of plastic often found in hygiene products — illegal. Meanwhile in Kenya, owning a plastic bag can be punishable by jail time.

The timing is sweet: Los Blancos fans seriously needed a pick-me-up after Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, departed the club for Juventus in July. And it looks like the forward-thinking kit has won people over.

But Ronaldo has never been one to miss out on a moment of glory.

Just over a week after he signed for them, Juventus announced a new third kit made from ocean plastic, too.

Read More: The England Squad Have Donated Their Match Earnings to Charity for Over a Decade

The Italian champions also worked with Parley for the Oceans and Adidas to create the dark grey design.

“The new Juve third kit has eco-innovation and longevity at its very heart,” said Adidas designer Francesca Venturini. "The dark grey shade with yellow accents makes it the perfect jersey to be worn either on pitch or on the streets."

Real Madrid and Juventus are two of the biggest clubs in football history — and as some of the best players on the planet modelled the futuristic kit, something became crystal clear: Football is still brilliant, and the sporting world is genuinely starting waking up to the threat of plastic pollution.


Defend the Planet

Real Madrid's New Kit Is Made Completely From Ocean Plastic

By James Hitchings-HalesJana Sepehr  and  Erica Sánchez