Global sportswear maker adidas announced that it has committed to using only recycled plastic by 2024. The pledge to eliminate the use of virgin plastic includes using polyester, a popular material in sportswear for its sweat resistant properties and because it weighs less.
adidas said on Monday that it would stop using virgin plastic in its offices, retail outlets, warehouses and distribution centres, a move that would save an estimated 40 tonnes of plastic per year, starting from 2018.
It also said its apparel line for the spring and summer of 2019 will contain around 4 percent recycled polyester.
adidas is the latest in a series of global companies that have pledged to reduce plastic use, CNN reported.
In 2016, the brand had completely done away with the use of plastic bags in all its stores.
In the same year adidas collaborated with environmental group Parley and decided to lead the way with an ‘eco-innovative’ design. They mass produced shoes made from recycled water bottles found in the world’s oceans. The shoe was named UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley, but is more popularly known as Ocean Plastic Shoe.
This year, with awareness growing, the German company is expecting a sharp increase in sales of its Parley shoes, which are made with plastic waste that has been intercepted before it reaches the ocean.
While still a small share of its global sales, adidas expects purchases to jump to 5 million pairs this year compared to 1 million in 2017.
Coffee retail giant Starbucks also plans to eliminate plastic straws from its stores, and McDonald’s is trialing a similar programme in the UK and Ireland.
Swedish furniture major IKEA is also phasing out single use plastic from its stores and restaurants.
Global use of plastic has increased 20-fold over the past 50 years and is expected to double again in the next 20 years.
The material is cheap and versatile, but governments and consumers are increasingly aware of its huge environmental costs.
Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world’s oceans by 2050. On a global basis, only 14 percent of plastic is collected for recycling.