Life in Plastic

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Each year, eight million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans. In an article from CNN, “The Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates that 311 million tons of plastic were produced in 2014, which will double within 20 years, and projects that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.” More plastic than fish in the ocean. Let that sink in.

The main issue with plastic is that it isn’t biodegradable; its photodegradable,which means it is broken apart by the sun. In addition, it has a material lifespan of centuries. The sun beats down on the plastic left in the oceans, breaking into tiny pieces that get swept up in the tides, attracting metals and toxins.

The plastic plague has spread from coast to coast affecting marine life, their environment, and human health. At this point, recycling isn’t enough to solve the problem. While every little bit helps, the main goal needs to be getting the plastic out of the ocean as well as putting less in.

In an article from Global Citizen, Joe McCarthy writes about Adidas new shoes made from 95% ocean plastic retrieved from the Maldives. They partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit committed to reducing plastic waste in the oceans.  Adidas’ effort towards cleaning up the oceans is more than just an attempt to appear sustainable; soon, 7,000 pairs of the “UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley” will be on sale for $220 each. Adidas strives to discontinue the use of virgin plastics in all of their products, and adopt new ways of producing with ocean plastic. While Adidas’ efforts do help, just one companies sustainable actions aren’t enough.

Like Tesla, Adidas supports open eco-innovation strategies, allowing other companies to implement sustainable business practices. This especially important in making eco-friendly products more affordable for the general public. The more companies that implement and work on methods of eliminating virgin plastic from their products, the less expensive these production methods become. Lower prices create a higher demand and more people will buy products benefitting the ocean.

In their latest press release regarding their new products, Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch adds ,”At this point, it’s no longer just about raising awareness. It’s about taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good. Eco-innovation is an open playing field. With the release of the Ocean Plastic jerseys and UltraBOOST Uncaged adidas x Parley shoes, we’re inviting every consumer, player, team and fan to own their impact under Parley A.I.R. and define their role within the movement.”


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