World Cup Soccer, 2010 edition, involves the mobilization of players and fans-hundreds of thousands of people-to get on planes and travel thousands of miles to South Africa to watch the world’s best soccer teams compete. I never thought I would come to view this year’s event as offering to the world new ideas on how to live greener. Other than the color of the playing surface, soccer doesn’t seem to offer a lot to the green movement.
But in fact, this year, it does.
The uniforms worn by Team USA and eight other teams are produced from recycled plastic bottles. You read that right: shirts produced from recycled beverage bottles.
Specifically, those bottles taken have been from landfills in Japan and Taiwan and then converted into a fiber, which is weaved into a fabric. Nike, the company responsible for producing these remarkable outfits. has provided them for nine teams in this year’s World Cup competition. For the record, the nine teams are Australia, Brazil, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, and USA. Nike also retails these jerseys for $70 to the masses.
What is even more amazing about these soccer jerseys is that they are also better than traditional jerseys. These made-from-recycled-plastic shirts are said to be lighter, more flexible, and more durable. They also provide superior ventilation, thanks to thousands of laser-created holes. And according to Joel Stein of Time Magazine, who has actually seen and handled one of these jerseys, they are incredibly soft.
As I have now found out from further reading, the ubiquitous Coke soft drink company sells plastic bottle-derived shirts as well. The Coke-sponsored shirts, sold under the marketing label Drink2Wear, are about 50% plastic bottle-derived. The rest of the material is cotton. No matter. Each Coke shirt has a label that tells you how many bottles were used to make it, which is another nice bit of information for the consumer that doubles as a marketing pitch. This clothing form recycled plastic is starting to catch on. The Coke shirts are sold in many locations, including at Walmart for about $7. You can also buy similar T-shirts at high-end boutiques and pay a lot more.
You can thank the 2010 World Cup for bringing a new innovation to the attention of the world this year. If it catches on, we may finally have a way to reduce the billions of pounds of plastic bottles that find their way into landfills.
Source by Steve Stillwater