For decades, pollutants have ravaged our oceans, affecting its fragile environment and the animals living in it. Some of the most dangerous pollutants include radioactive waste and oil, especially during accidental oil spills from tankers or leaks from oil rigs. Still, they are a far cry from the most common pollutant now plaguing our oceans: plastic or to be more specific, microplastics.
To understand the scope of the threat microplastics have on oceans’ ecosystem, they are one of the biggest threats to the fish population because fish prefer to eat them over natural food. As a matter of fact, about one quarter of all fish in the ocean now contain plastics, according to the United Nations. With these frightening facts, it can be hypothesized that a quarter of all fish consumed by people possibly contains plastic too. Let’s not forget this is just fish and there are other animals, not just living in the oceans but on land and air, that are affected by plastics that may consume them as well.
Many in the green community are trying to find ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the millions of tons of plastics that are polluting our oceans. In India, a company replaced plastic cutlery with those made by millet which in turn makes them edible too. When it comes to reusing plastics, they are now being incorporated into concrete to help reinforce it.
As for recycling plastics, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans (simply known as Parley) have teamed up to recycle ocean plastics to create something unique: a pair of shoes. Not only that, but people have a chance to win one of 50 pairs of these eco-friendly shoes too.
As shown from the video above, Adidas and Parley have found a way to turn ocean plastics into technical yarn. According to Ecouterre, the new shoes, called the “Adidas X Parley running shoes,” has uppers made of plastics that consist of roughly 16.5 post-consumer plastic bottles along with about 13 grams of gill-net plastic. Apparently, the plastic used to make the uppers is derived from illegal deep-sea fishing nets and other man-made debris collected right off the coast of the Maldives, a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean known for its beaches that glow at night.
Eric Liedtke, the Adidas Group executive board member responsible for global brands, showed his excitement for the new shoes. He recently released a statement in which he claims they are already “iconic.”
“This Adidas x Parley running shoe is already iconic. It’s a shoe for game-changers. We can’t wait to hear the stories of those who stand up, suggest creative solutions, take action and want to join us on our journey to clean up the oceans.”
Cyrill Gutsch, the founder of Parley for the Oceans, also provided a statement on behalf of his company in which he details their end of the partnership. Gutsch also sees the recycled ocean plastics being used for other sportswear besides shoes.
“So much work has happened behind the scenes since we launched our partnership with Adidas. We are creating new standards, new materials and technologies that are so different to those the sporting goods industry is used to. It is an ongoing challenge, but we achieved the first step.
“Now we can replace new plastic with recycled marine plastic debris: Parley Ocean Plastic. We can create footwear and apparel products with it and we are ready to scale it up.”
The Adidas X Parley running shoes were made in honor of World Oceans Day, as reported by Inhabitat. Also in honor of the day, Adidas and Parley are giving people, specifically those on Instagram, a chance to win one of 50 pairs of the shoes. All one has to do is upload a video that demonstrates their commitment to eliminating single-use plastic items from their lives. The chance to enter will last from June 8 to July 31.
[Image via Adidas and Parley Promotions for Adidas X Parley Running Shoes]