With eight million tonnes of plastic dumped annually into the sea, the world is faced with the grim prospect of more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. To avert this environmental calamity, several voluntary groups and businesses have been initiating efforts to intercept, recover and recycle the plastic that has found its way into the waters.
One innovative project that is up and running is by sports shoe manufacturer Adidas. The company hopes to discontinue using virgin plastic components from its products and packaging by 2024 and become carbon-neutral by 2050.
Last year, the company produced over five million pairs of running shoes from 95 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic recovered from oceans and beach clean-ups. This year, the company hopes to manufacture around 11 million pairs of the shoes before the end of the year — an over 100 per cent increase.
On the global front, Adidas has been partnering with Parley, a voluntary group, to prevent plastic from reaching the oceans and transforming this plastic into high performance sportswear. Hence, Adidas uses Parley Ocean Plastic material created from upcycled plastic waste instead of virgin plastic in the making of its ‘adidas x Parley’ products.
“Parley for the Oceans works with its partners to collect, sort and transport the recovered raw material (mainly PET bottles) to our supplier who produces the yarn, which is legally trademarked. With the production of one pair of Parley shoes, we prevent approximately eleven plastic bottles from entering our oceans,” explains Sharad Singla, Director Brand Marketing, Adidas India. [This is the part of an article that appeared in BusinessLine dated 22.5.2019]
Q1. What dangers the seas face due to increased use of plastics by humans?
Q2. What goal has Adidas set for itself by the year 2050.? How it wants to achieve it?
Q3. What tangible progress Adidas has made in this regard?
Q4. What is special about ‘adidas x Parley’ products?
Q5. What does Mr. Singla, Director, Band Marketing, Adidas India say about the success of his company with regard to preventing dumping of plastics in seas and sea shores?
Answers will be posted on May 25.
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ANSWERS .. Q1. The seas and their beaches have become a convenient dumping ground for plastic items that are discarded by humans. The quantity of such waste has reached a staggering figure of eight million tonnes annually. It is not unreasonable to fear that the seas will hold more discarded plastic than fish by 2050, if such dumping continues.
Q2. Adidas plans to discontinue using virgin plastic for the shoe components it makes, and use the discarded plastic in its place. By 2024, it will completely stop its dependence on virgin plastic as raw material. By 2050, the company will become fully carbon-neutral.
Q3. Last year, Adidas made five million pairs of jogging shoes using 95% plastic retrieved from oceans and sea shores. This year, the company will make 11 million pairs of shoes using such discarded plastic. It will mean a two-fold jump over last year.
Q4. Adidas has joined hands with the volunteer group Parley to boost its effort to recycle the plastic recovered from seas and the beaches. Premium sports shoes will be made from such waste materials. The shoes thus produced with nil virgin plastic will be branded as ‘adidas x Parley’.
Q5. Mr. Singla of Adidas, India explained how the company has successfully collaborated with the volunteer company Parley for the Oceans to give a fillip to keep the seas and the beaches free of discarded plastic. Parley gets the waste collected and sent to processing units who make yarns out of them. Such certified yarns are then taken to Adidas for use in shoe making. Mr. Singla claims that nearly 11 used PET bottles go into making a pair of shoes. Thus, the initiative pays rich dividends in keeping the seas and beaches clean of waste plastic.
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