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Businesses Working to Save Our Planet Through Recycling

Adidas and Parley Ocean Plastic have collaborated to find innovative ways to decrease the amount of trash that winds up in oceans. By 2050, Adidas estimates that trash could outnumber the amount of fish in the oceans. Plastic is harming ocean animals and the Earth, so Adidas’s mission is to end this harm and create innovative ways to clean the planet.

To decrease the damage done to the planet, Adidas and Parley are working recycling into sportswear. The process consists of cleaning up plastic trash that washes up on coastal communities and sending it off to Parley supply chain partners. Then, they convert the trash into Adidas x Parley sportswear. Adidas’s mission is to use recycled polyester to reduce environmental impact while ensuring that their products will remain of the highest quality for their customers.

One of Nike’s goals is to create a planet where people make a positive impact on their communities. In 1994, an indoor basketball court in Brooklyn received the first Nike Grind surface. Nike Grind materials include rubber, foam, fiber, leather, and textile blends, which come from worn-out sneakers and other products. Nike uses these materials to avoid waste by making footwear, apparel, and play surfaces. They created Reuse-A-Shoe, a program dedicated toward giving life back to used-up shoes. Since then, over “32 million pairs of shoes and 120 million pounds of manufacturing scrap have been transformed into valuable material.”

The FY19 project is one that has changed the way Nike has impacted the environment. To name some of Nike’s achievements, they have reduced the number of liters of freshwater used by over 23 billion, Nike has recycled materials that make up 76% of Nike footwear, and they have reduced the number of plastic bottles in landfills and waterways by more than 7.5 billion. To participate in programs like Reuse-A-Shoe, consumers can find participating Nike stores near them to recycle their old pairs of shoes and take care of their planet.

Miniwiz is a company that reuses trash and industrial waste at TRASHLAB, the only laboratory in the world that exists for this purpose. The founder, Arthur Huang, believes in a circular economy, so he does not believe in wasted materials. Everything from ceramic sets, phone cases, sunglasses, and wine cases are repurposed. The Trashpresso is one machine that helps add to the innovative ways Miniwiz is recycling materials. It is a solar-powered mobile plastic and fabric waste recycling plant. Trashpresso has three steps: size reduction, purification, and reshaping. With this machine, Miniwiz aims to educate people on how to recycle, and significantly reduce the amount of waste that people create. 

American Express is an organization that has worked to clean Earth from plastic waste. Their goal is to collect one million pounds of waste from the ocean, and they started by partnering up with Parley in mid-2018. With Parley’s #BackOurOceans movement, American Express made a card entirely by reclaimed plastic, and they began to call them “Green Cards.” Today, they continue to “limit single-use plastics and intercept plastic waste.” American Express has done this with plastic straws, coffee stirrers, and other plastics, and they have replaced them with reusable or compostable packaging and utensils. In 2020, American Express will be implementing a new program for its card members too. Soon, people will be able to return their expired cards so that they may be recycled instead of cut in half and thrown out. 

Recycling is ever-changing, and companies like these have created a solid start for others, and they serve as examples for future generations. With innovative ideas like these, the planet can be healed little by little, one change at a time. 


Andrea Leyva is a student at Florida International University, majoring in Communications. Her interests include learning about the behind the scenes of movies and tv shows, reading, and listening to music. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, watching plays, going to theme parks, and traveling. Andrea is very excited to share what she is passionate about through her articles!
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