It’s 2019, and the sustainability movement is at its peak.
Last July, Adidas pledged to eliminate the use of “virgin” plastic, switching to recycled material instead. The global sportswear company is now devoted to using only recycled plastic by 2024. As CNN Money reports, plastic is used in everything from t-shirts to sports bras. Despite negative consequences for the environment, the material is especially popular in sportswear because of its quick drying and lightweight properties.
Adidas would also stop using “virgin” plastic in its offices, retail outlets, warehouses and distribution centers, and the company’s apparel line for the spring and summer of 2019 will contain roughly 41% recycled polyester.
Global use of plastic has increased 20-fold over the past 50 years, and is expected to double again in the next 20 years. Over the course of six decades, people have produced over 8 billion metric tons of plastic waste. The material is cheap and very convenient to use, but as we know, it doesn’t degrade. As a result, it accumulates in landfills and fills our oceans with harmful pollution. With up to 4.5% of the world’s total plastic production washed into the sea each year, research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050.
Reducing consumption, increasing recycling, and choosing non-plastic alternatives are changes we can make that are more important now than ever before. Many companies are already taking action. Aside from Adidas: Starbucks has laid out a plan to get rid of single-use plastic straws from all its stores by 2020, McDonald’s will completely switch to paper straws this year and has made a decision to ensure all of its packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sustainable sources within the next eight years, Evian said it would produce all its plastic bottles from 100 percent recycled plastic by 2025, Ikea seeks to dispose of “virgin” plastic from anything across its product catalog, and many other companies are taking steps to reduce plastic consumption in the workplace. We may have a long way to go, but it’s a step in the right direction.