In about two weeks, the eyes of the globe will turn toward South Africa as the 2010 FIFA World Cup commences. As the players from many nations enter the pitch, they will be scoring points not only for their teams but for the viability of recycling. According to Greenopolis (reporting on a story from Ecoterre) all national teams outfitted by Nike will sport jerseys made from recycled plastic bottles culled from landfills in Taiwan and Japan.
Each shirt comprises up to eight recycled plastic bottles, a move that reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared with manufacturing virgin polyester. Besides saving raw materials, Nike also diverted nearly 13 million plastic bottles (or nearly 560,000 pounds of polyester waste) from the landfill—enough to cover more than 29 football pitches.
Waste Age has reported on recycled athletic wear before. Given the importance of new markets for recycled material to the success of recycling, do you feel athletic wear made from recycled plastic is a compelling new sector or just a gimmick?