The global sportswear and sneaker giant, Adidas has just donated a sustainable American football field made out of 1.8 million recycled plastic bottles. Collected from beaches, coastal communities, shorelines and remote islands, the newly built field at Miami’s Edison High School contains an estimated 40,000 pounds of plastic waste. The initiative is a part of Adidas’ corporate sustainability plans as the world wakes up to the severity of the global plastic crisis. Miami Edison High School is located near the Liberty City neighborhood, which has produced many former and current NFL stars such as Chad Johnson, Devonta Freeman, Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, and Antonio Brown.
While conventional artificial turf pitches are usually made out of virgin plastics and reground rubber, Adidas used collected bottles that were washed, treated and turned into plastic pellets for traction and cushioning. In addition to building the pitch, the sporting giant has also installed recycling bins across the school campus to help students’ efforts to reduce plastic waste. Vice president of global brand strategy for Adidas, James Carnes, said that the field was made from plastic bottles that were collected from areas near the ocean, to prevent it from polluting the sea.
The company pledged that over 50% of polyester in their products in 2020 will come from recycled sources and plastic waste, and added that this number will be increased to 100% by 2024.
Cameron Collins, the Adidas North America director of football, said: “We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives, and this field is a demonstration of our taking action on that belief. More than a place for these young athletes to play, it’s a reminder of our collective responsibility to end plastic waste.”
Since 1950, 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced, with roughly 6 million tonnes becoming waste that ends up in landfills, incineration sites, and oceans. Not only is it leading to damaging consequences on our seabed, but the production process itself is also carbon-intensive, as it involves the use of petroleum. Brands such as Coca-Cola and Reebok have launched a number of their own campaigns focused on plastic pollution. While Coca-Cola has begun creating a portion of their bottles out of low-grade recovered ocean waste plastic, a move prompted by the global backlash from environmental campaigners, Reebok recently revealed their plans to launch a plant-based vegan shoe that contains no petroleum-based plastics.