Would you wear ocean trash? German soccer powerhouse Bayern Munich does. And soon, Real Madrid of Spain will join them.
How did this happen? Sportswear giant Adidas is working with New York–based ocean organization Parley to supply new jerseys made from plastic collected during cleanups in the Maldives. Teams will play one game in the eco-friendly jerseys.
“I’m a child of the beaches of Spain, so I’m really happy to wear a shirt entirely made of recycled ocean waste,” Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso said when his team debuted the jerseys in early November.
Real captain Sergio Ramos will don a jersey of “upcycled” marine debris during a November 26 match against Sporting de Gijón, another professional soccer team in Spain.
Between 5 million to 12 million metric tons of plastic litter the ocean every year. Waste plastic can harm a range of sea life, from shore birds to whales. And when it breaks down into tiny pieces, it ends up in the stomachs of fish. So when we eat fish, some of that plastic can wind up in our own dinners.
Adidas’ soccer jerseys are part of a new line of clothing items featuring ocean trash. With Parley, the company is launching a series of running shoes with even bigger ambitions.
“We will make 1 million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017,” said Eric Liedtke of Adidas. “Our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain.”
Adidas and Parley have been working together on ocean cleanup and recycling since April 2015.