Take a minute and look down at the shoes you are wearing. Would you say they’re made of leather? Suade? Fabric? If you have on a pair of shoes made by Adidas, chances are that at least half of that material used to comfort your feet is made of plastic.
You’ve probably gotten the memo by now that plastic is out. Grocery stores are ditching their plastic bags, plastic straws are becoming an eco-terror threat, and Adidas isn’t about to let itself become the next big target in the war against plastic.
Adidas recently announced its plan to switch over to 100% recycled plastics by 2024. With plastic making up half of the materials used in the 920 million products sold per year, it would be impossible to make the change overnight. But it is a step in the right direction.
Making the change to recycled plastic is fueled by Adidas’ key demographic of young buyers who are environmentally aware and are conscious of the materials being used in their shoes, clothing, and sporting gear.
It could also be said that the change is partially fueled by rival Nike as well.
Nike has long been ahead of the anti-plastic movement and has already moved 75% of its plastic use over to recycled material.
The dirty side…
While it may be hard to see a negative side to the recent news by Adidas, some environmentalists have still found room for criticism.
Adidas, like many other companies using recycled materials, is sourcing their plastic from clean waste instead of tapping into the harmful plastic wasteland in our oceans.
Recycled bottles sent back to supermarkets and return centers are the leading sources for most companies, mainly due to the fact that the plastic is still quite clean and little effort is needed to repurpose the material.
The process of turning low-quality plastics recovered from the ocean into a material that can be used in a pristine new product such as shoes or clothing isn’t really on the market yet.
Adidas, though, has commented that it continues to explore the area for solutions. With sales expected to grow in the future, and with more competition following in their footsteps, there will be an ever-growing demand for recycled plastic.