Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, our oceans are in deep trouble. Every year, over 3oo million tons of plastic comes into circulation worldwide. Out of that staggering number, about 85 percent is never recycled, meaning that instead of being sent to recycling plants in order to begin life anew, plastic goes to landfills. But it doesn’t stay there. Sadly, a majority of the plastic that goes to landfills ends up in our oceans. This adds up to about 8.8 million tons of unrecycled plastic making its way from land to sea annually. And that stuff doesn’t go away because unlike the time that we spend on this planet, plastic is forever. We may not see it, but the effects plastic pollution has on the creatures who live in the ocean is very real. It is estimated that by 2025, there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish, and if we don’t do something to cut our plastic habit fast, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Yikes.
The best way to put a stop to our massive plastic problem is to raise awareness about just how bad things really are — and one German soccer team is doing it creatively. In their Saturday game against another team in their league, members of Bayern Munich will be sporting bright red jerseys made entirely out of recycled ocean plastics. These jerseys are courtesy of Adidas, the team’s sponsor and the co-founder of the Parley for the Oceans campaign that is encouraging people to cut back on plastic wherever possible.
Although the jerseys are just a one-off for this game, we are so in love with the idea of a stadium full of people, along with all of the viewers who will be watching from home, learning a little bit about how plastic pollution affects us all. According to the midfielder Xabi Alonso, “I’m a child of the beaches of Spain, so I’m really happy to wear a shirt entirely made of recycled ocean waste. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the oceans.”
It also looks like their decision to sport recycled jerseys has inspired other teams: Spain’s Real Madrid will also wear jerseys made from ocean plastics in a game later on this month.
While we know that recycling helps cut back on the sheer amount of waste, we can further decrease our impact on the planet by cutting single-use plastics out of our lives. To learn more, read the following articles:
- 10 Life Hacks to Help You Cut Plastic Out of the Picture
- 20 Switches to Get Plastic Out of Your Life
- And join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Lead image source: Getty Images/BBC