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.

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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.


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by Clara 23.04.2015
Great article with great information!
by Franziska 24.04.2015
Exciting news! And all about time to make an impact on reducing plastic usage in the retail environment. Really appreciate the effort!
by Oliver 24.04.2015
'We will use ocean plastic resources to design and create new adidas apparel products."

what´s the timeline behind. when will it be kicked off. for which BU´s / Divisions is it planned ? excited to participate
by Florian Zimmermann (moderator) 24.04.2015
Hey Oliver,

thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your passion for sustainability as we do!

Here is what we can tell you so far. Our partnership with Parley for the Oceans is based on three pillars.

The first one is Communication/education. We will work closely to raise awareness about the issue of ocean pollution through the so-called "Parley Talks", workshops and other events. We will also engage consumers, athletes, artists, designers, actors, musicians, scientists and environmentalists to raise their voice and contribute their skills for the ocean cause.

The second pillar is related to Research and Innovation. By partnering with Parley for the Oceans we are contributing to a great environmental cause, but at the same time we will co-create new fabrics from ocean plastic waste which we will gradually but constantly integrate into our product.

Last but not least it is about a direct actions against ocean plastic pollution.

Details of the three pillars are currently being defined and we will share updates as these become available.

Stay tuned and continue sharing your passion for sustainability.

Have a nice upcoming weekend,

by Tony 24.04.2015
Congrats! This is an important step to prepare our company for future environmental and thus market challenges. Seems as 'creating the new' comes to life. Can't wait to see the new eco-friendly bags in the stores!
by Martin Merks 24.04.2015
Great initiative!

Are there also plans to reduce the amount of plastic in our articles in general for the future?
by Sabine Milbrandt 24.04.2015
I am really happy that we go this step and eliminate these plastic bags from our store, hope we will find a more sustainable solution; I very often refuse to take a bag at the check outs, but when I have studied in the UK sales persons often were irritated by that...
by kevin merrick 26.04.2015
A long time coming, way overdue, but you havent stated what the replacement actually is, paper, fabric, oxy degradable solutions. What about the printing inks, still chemical or moving to an organic solution?

How do you currently deal with thise areas that have banned plastic bags, Abu Dhabi for example?
by Florian Zimmermann (moderator) 30.04.2015
Hello Kevin,

we are currently assessing various options for the replacement of plastic bags. Paper bags in one option but not the only option as paper bags are not suitable for markets where humidity is very high. Once the material is defined, we will also look into inks. In general, please note that we have made the shift to soy origin and water-based inks with our footwear packaging, and in general have done often a shift to water-based inks in our products in order to reduce our use of solvents. Here is more information about chemical management at the adidas Group.

Best regards,

by Magdalena 05.05.2015
fantastic initiative!

Perhaps the ideal would be to provide two types of bags, one card to purchase goods or shoes "heavy". While another purchases lighter as a simple T-shirt or a suit or sweatshirt, use biodegradable bags widely used for recycling in all countries. In such a way it can be reused for the collection of organic waste.

Best regards

Magdalena Sgarella
by Nicoletta 14.05.2015
"There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn't spoil the sky, or the rain, or the land" (Paul McCartney). And of course, there is. Great "green" idea!
by Mary Matias 05.07.2015
I have grown up wearing Adidas. During the last two decades I Stopped buying its goods. My kid never have worn anything from it. If that is real I will return my customer.This news bring hope to our trashed environment in large scale. Thank you for seen the light.

I have been using sixth form and office shirts to make carrier bags, it has proved very useful and long lasting.
by Luz Thornton 27.11.2015
Removing plastic from your shops is a great initiative. Congratulations! Only brave companies manage to innovate eco-friendly. Best regards!
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