The majesty of the ocean is astounding. The ocean is perhaps the most important ecosystem on the planet. Home to thousands of marine species, and coral reefs. Consider the words of Captain Paul Watson, “If the oceans die, we die.” Or, Dr. Sylvia Earle, “No blue, no green.” Both sentiments resonate with the logic that the ocean is the very heart of our planet. Every second breath we take comes from the ocean—undoubtedly the ocean is our greatest life-support system. Our survival is dependent upon healthy oceans. Yet, we do not cherish the ocean with the dignity and respect is so deserves. Over the past few decades, we have treated the ocean as a bottomless trash can— 8 tons of plastic enters the ocean every year. The ocean was never designed nor intended to be a trash can. Now, we are waking up to the reality of the environmental impact our lifestyle of convenience has made and one of the biggest issues is the epidemic of plastic pollution in our oceans. Plastic pollution is disrupting the balance of the health of the ocean, endangering marine life, coral reefs and sea birds. Plastic is so entrenched in consumerism and our daily lives that it makes it difficult to break free from plastic completely. That being said, even if we start with small actions, like giving up single-use plastics a huge positive impact will come into fruition. Moreover, there is a call to action for companies to rethink the way products are made and packaged. The time is now, for a tide of change. Parley for the oceans is a driving force creating a wave of change, through raising awareness about environmental issues, initiating beach cleanups, promoting eco-innovation (as a future-forward step beyond sustainability) and ecologically sensible products. Parley has created a platform, encouraging creators, thinkers and leaders to come together for the common goal of raising awareness for our oceans and collaborating on projects that will create change, provide eco-innovative options and prevent further destruction of our fragile ecosystems.
Running Towards A Plastic-Free Ocean
It can start with something simple as a pair of sports shoes. A simple act to redesign the process of making a pair of running shoes into an eco-innovative product that can put into motion positive changes for the betterment of our oceans. Parley and Adidas have teamed up to create sports shoes that are an ecologically sensible product made from Ocean Plastic®, Parley’s catalyst material created from upcycled plastic waste intercepted in marine environments and coastal communities. A step in a better direction, this makes not only a statement that change is possible, but sparks inspiration. From that inspiration, starts a revolution of changing the way consumer products are designed and redesigning them in ways that champion progress and are less harmful to the environment. It is evident that there needs to be a harmonious shift whereby the world of consumers and our economy can merge with an ecologically sensible approach and practices. Manufactures have an opportunity to be proactive and join the movement to eradicate our reliance and use of single-use plastics and change the way an array of products are made and packaged. “Plastic is a design failure. We can only end the problem with a new material. In the meantime we save marine wildlife by cleaning up shorelines and ocean and cut into the production of new, virgin plastic through closed-loop recycling systems.” (Parley). With this in mind, Parley for the oceans is doing incredible work making positive strives and an impact by demonstrating that ecologically sensible products are the way forward. Consumers are embracing sustainable options being made available to them. This revolutionary method of producing sports shoes made from Parley Ocean Plastic is more than a positive change in the fashion industry, but what it represents. “Creating a symbol for change, one made in an eco-innovative way, that can champion our message and AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign).” (Parley)
Eco innovation is the way forward. Upcycling existing plastic pollution and transforming it into new material can revolutionize the way products are made, reduce plastic waste, and aid in the removal of plastic from the ocean and off beaches. Furthermore, it a simple solution to keeping plastic out of the ocean. It encourages us to focus on the concerning issue of plastic pollution in our oceans. Plastic does not go away. Even biodegradable plastics don’t fully go away, they breakdown into micro plastics which is a serious problem. Micro plastics pollute the ocean and can be mistaken as food and ingested by marine life. Plastic can be found everywhere, littering beaches, micro plastics floating at the surface of the ocean and larger pieces of plastic debris sunk on the bottom of the ocean. The task of removing the massive accumulation of plastic floating around our oceans is seemingly a daunting task. However, simple acts such beach cleanups and removing plastic from the ocean when we come across it can help make a difference. Furthermore, removing plastic from the beach and oceans then transforming that into a new materials to make sustainable, eco-innovative products is a means of taking the problem at hand and finding a positive solution.
A Powerful Team Making Waves: Adidas and Parley
Parley and Adidas have teamed up collaborating on sportswear and are making waves. Inspired by our oceans and using eco-innovation to work together on a project to keep plastic out of the oceans. Tackling marine plastic pollution by removing plastic from the ocean and cleaning up beaches to intercept plastic before it ends up in the ocean. The recycled plastic transforms into material to create sustainable sports shoes. Their collection includes UltraBoost Parley Shoes, UltraBoost X Parley Shoes and UltraBoost Uncaged Parley Shoes. Each shoe is made from 11 plastic bottles and recycled materials. Essentially, 95% of each sneaker is made Parley Ocean Plastic and the remaining 5% is made from recycled polyester. These sneakers are putting their best step forward, inspired by our oceans and designed to reduce plastic waste. The very heart of Parley A.I.R. calls to action to: Avoid plastic wherever possible. Intercept plastic waste. Redesign the plastic economy by rethinking the materials, methods and thinking behind it. (Parley)
A Call To Action: Take the Parley AIR Pledge
Raising Awareness: Keep Our Beaches Clean
Photo Credit: Lori Speirs
Film Credits: “Raising Awareness: Keep Our Beaches Clean” “Ocean Plastic Pollution Awareness Video”
Film Footage: Lori Speirs, David Bowerman and Eco Divers Reef Foundation