For decades we used plastic too selfishly. We wrapped our food in it, made clothes with it, took our groceries home in it, and consumed it without much regard to what it would do to our planet. As a society, we know we have a plastic problem that we need to innovate our way out of (and we can!). But before we roll up our sleeves and get to work, let’s dig into the issue a bit more.
From Brazil to Italy: Plastic Is A Global Issue
As of now, the amount of plastic thrown away annually would circle the earth four times. So little of that is recycled, and a lot of it ends up in our oceans. In fact, about one garbage truck full of plastic is thrown into our ocean every minute.
We see the impacts of plastic waste around the globe. We asked an adidas Runtastic ambassador in Brazil how plastic waste affects his community. Here’s what he had to share:
“In Brazil, plastic production is a huge contributor to deforestation. The deforestation leads to intense flooding during the rainy seasons. We also see so much plastic in the oceans affecting marine life.” – Leo Oliveira, adidas Runtastic ambassador, Brazil
And he’s right! In Brazil, deforestation surged in 2020 . While Brazil is the 4th largest plastic pollution producer globally, they recycle only about 1.28% of their waste. And these issues are certainly not unique to Brazil. Antonella, an adidas Runtastic ambassador from Italy, had this to share about the beaches in her country.
“When I come to the beach, I see kids using plastic and trash to decorate their sandcastles. I hope one day they know what it’s like to find only sand and shells on the beach.” – Antonella Andriollo, adidas Runtastic ambassador, Italy
We’re not here to pick on Italy or Brazil, in fact, we interviewed ambassadors from around the world and everyone had their own experiences with plastic pollution to share. It’s an issue that affects everyone around the globe.
Addressing Plastic Pollution One Step At A Time
So, the mandate is clear-we need help from everyone, everywhere, to address our plastic problems. We certainly need change at a policy level. We also have to innovate new ways of producing goods, and we should all take steps right now to reduce our plastic waste. In addition, we have to help fight plastic waste and raise awareness around the globe.
Every year we host Run For The Oceans, a virtual challenge where participants can run, walk, or wheelchair to help support Parley’s Global Cleanup Network. Parley’s Global Cleanup Operations works to help end marine plastic pollution by intercepting debris from beaches and islands.
We asked our ambassadors what motivates them to Run For The Oceans. Jenny, our ambassador from Germany, shared:
“I run to help spread the message about plastic’s impact on our planet. So many people are still unaware of how their consumption impacts our environment. They don’t think about their garbage after they throw it away. I run to help show people-your plastic doesn’t go away. It ends up in the ocean, breaks down into tiny pieces, and stays there.” – Jenny Marx, adidas Runtastic ambassador, Germany
Join the Movement!
In 2019, 2.2. million runners from across the world participated in Run For The Oceans. This year, we’re going to reach even further, gathering more runners and more kilometers than ever before. And for every kilometer run and logged in the adidas Running app, adidas and Parley will clean up the equivalent weight of 10 plastic bottles, up to 500,000 pounds, from beaches and islands. Are you interested in joining the challenge? Sign up now in the adidas Running app! Check out the video below for more information on how to join.