How many times have you refused to take a bag at the checkout in a store – either because you’re environmentally conscious, because you brought your own, or because you only bought something small?
Here at the adidas Group, we are convinced that our consumers want to make a difference by actively making more sustainable choices. That’s why we’re constantly striving to create new and improved consumer experiences. Studies have found that roughly 12 million metric tons of plastic debris has accumulated in our oceans globally. This is a shocking fact and motivates us to help removing ocean plastic that hurts ocean wildlife and eventually even ends up in our food.
Going plastic-bag free in our stores
We believe that removing plastic from our shops is one impactful way of contributing to the solution.
To make this goal a reality, we’ll be pursuing a collection of strategies.
Our options will likely include:
- training our retail staff to ask whether consumers would like a bag at checkout,
- partnering with other sustainable packaging organizations,
- replacing our petroleum-based plastic bags with more sustainable alternatives and
- innovating the way we deliver our products to both remove the need for packaging and recycle it along our supply chain.
Other players around the globe are also joining this shift.
For example, the European Commission has recently unveiled legislation that would require all EU member states to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags. The city of San Francisco has also banned the use of plastic bags.
“I’m proud to say that we have always been serious about considering ways of preventing plastic from becoming waste.”Adam Brundage, Project Manager Global Brands Sustainability
- Since 2012, we have been drastically increasing our use of recycled polyester fabric in our products.
- In 2014, we used roughly 11 million yards of recycled polyester. To put that in perspective: 11 million yards of fabric would produce roughly 7 million adidas T-shirts. Using recycled polyester content to make apparel means plastic bottles and post-consumer waste will never end up in our oceans! Going forward, we will continue to increase the use of recycled polyester in our product lines.
- At retail, we use 100% recycled content paper in our shoe boxes.
- We have also created environmentally progressive store concepts such as HomeCourt in Nuremberg, Germany, which incorporates many resource- and energy-saving features and installations.
The next step of our journey: partnering with Parley for the Oceans
Last Monday, we published our 2014 Sustainability Report. Together with this, we announced a long-term partnership with Parley for the Oceans , a movement to remove and eventually eliminate plastic debris that ends up in our oceans. Cyrill Gutsch, the founder, is a very inspiring character – see also our blog post “We all love the Oceans”.
Our partnership consists of a two-pronged approach:
- We will use ocean plastic resources to design and create new adidas apparel products.
- By stopping our own use of plastic bags in our retail environment, we’re doing our share of ensuring that plastic waste is no longer polluting our environment.
As an environmental scientist who works every day to find innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products, I’m excited about this commitment and inspired by the challenges that lie ahead.
Let’s say no to those plastic bags and yes to more sustainable products for a cleaner and healthier ocean.