How Adidas Turns Plastic Bottles Into Shoes

how adidas turns plastic bottles into shoes

Adidas turns plastic bottles into shoes and it’s a wonder how they pull it off. The multinational sportswear manufacturer produces over 400 million pairs of shoes every year. For that large amount of unit, one would think they constantly make a lot of resources to keep the production running but the reverse is the case, they make shoes out of plastic bottles.

Making shoes out of plastic bottles is a good initiative for environmental development.  Reports show that about 8 million tons of plastic are being washed into the ocean each year. Enough waste to thickly line every coastline in the world, and by 2020 reports show that this amount of plastic waste will increase by a tenfold.

In 2015, Adidas partnered with The Environmental Organization, ‘Parley’ to turn marine solution into sport shoes and by so doing have prevented 2,810 tons of plastic from entering the ocean. In 2024, Adidas expects to make 20 million pairs of shoes with recycled ocean plastic.

how adidas turns plastic bottles to shoes

You’ll agree that Adidas is doing a great deal of good.

Here’s how they turn plastic bottles into shoes;

  1. The Environmental Organization, Parley, goes to the beach to collect waste. The waste is sorted and the recovered plastic is sent to an Adidas processing plant. They use plastic bottles that contain ‘Polyethylene terephthalate’ (PET) and the caps of the bottles are sent to normal recycling facilities because they can’t be used.

parley collects bottles from the beach

2.  The processing plant crushes, washes and dehydrates the bottles turning them into plastic flakes.

3. The flakes are heated, dried and cooled and cut into tinier pieces of palettes.

4. The palettes are turned into filaments like ropes which is spun into a big wrap like yarn

5. The yarn is used to form the upper part of their shoes and jerseys and this part of the shoes is made from at least 75% marine trash.


flakes are made into yarn


The quality of these shoes still meets the standard of Adidas’s other shoes. Their goal is to replace all virgin polyester by recycled polyester by 2024 and currently, over 40% of Adidas’s products use recycled polyester.

Although, washing these products might create microfibers that still end up in the ocean. Adidas advises that the products are washed less often with cold water.

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