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  • Adidas makes over 400 million pairs of shoes every year.

  • Manufacturing that many shoes requires a lot of resources.

  • But constantly creating new materials isn't great for the environment.

  • So Adidas is turning to a different source.

  • Experts predict that in 30 years, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

  • And one study estimates that 90% of seabirds have consumed some form of plastic waste.

  • All that pollution on beaches and in the ocean is harmful to both marine life and humans.

  • So Adidas is trying to stop some of that plastic before it reaches the ocean.

  • In 2015, Adidas partnered with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans.

  • Their goal?

  • To turn marine pollution into sportswear.

  • And they've made huge progress.

  • In 2019, Adidas expects to make 11 million pairs of shoes with recycled ocean plastic.

  • That's more than double what it made in 2018.

  • Adidas says the partnership has prevented 2,810 tons of plastic from reaching the oceans.

  • But how are these shoes made?

  • It all starts at the beach.

  • Parley and its partners collect trash from coastal areas like the Maldives.

  • The waste is then sorted, and the recovered plastic is sent to an Adidas processing plant.

  • Adidas uses plastic bottles that contain polyethylene terephthalate, or PET.

  • And if it's something Adidas can't use, like caps and rings?

  • Those get sent to normal recycling facilities.

  • The processing plant crushes, washes, and dehydrates the waste, leaving nothing but small plastic flakes.

  • The flakes are heated, dried, and cooled, then cut into small resin pellets.

  • Normally, polyester is made from petroleum.

  • But Adidas melts these pellets to create a filament, which is spun into what they call Ocean Plastic, a form of polyester yarn.

  • Adidas uses Ocean Plastic to form the upper parts of shoes and clothing like jerseys.

  • Each item in the Parley collection is made from at least 75% intercepted marine trash.

  • And they still meet the same performance and comfort standards of Adidas' other shoes.

  • Recycled polyester uses less water and fewer chemicals and helps prevent plastic pollution.

  • Adidas' goal is to replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester by 2024.

  • Currently, more than 40% of Adidas' apparel uses recycled polyester.

  • You may have seen Adidas' recycled sportswear without even noticing it.

  • Clothing made with Ocean Plastic has been used in college football, baseball, the NHL, the Australian Open, and more.

  • But this doesn't eliminate plastic pollution entirely.

  • Washing polyester clothing can create microfibers, which may end up in the ocean.

  • Adidas suggests that customers wash their clothes less often, use cold water, and fully fill the machine each time.

  • But this is just the first step.

  • Adidas is also developing a 100% recyclable shoe called the Futurecraft Loop.

  • This shoe is made to be remade.

  • Because it can be returned and broken down to create a brand-new pair.

  • Futurecraft Loop is expected to be available in 2021.

  • With the help of Parley for the Oceans, Adidas is using readily available material to manufacture new products.

  • Which is a big step towards a sustainable future.

Adidas makes over 400 million pairs of shoes every year.

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