Adidas takes a solid step toward sustainability with a new embrace of recycled plastic.

Adidas is rolling out a bit of welcome news to people who love sports and care about the environment.

On July 15, Financial Times reported the sports apparel company plans to phase out use of "virgin" plastics (first-use plastic that hasn't been recycled), switching over exclusively to recycled plastics by 2024. This pledge includes the company's products as well as its offices, stores, warehouses, and other facilities. A CNN report puts the amount of plastic saved at 40 tons per year.

Over the past couple of decades, Adidas has made a number of other adjustments to its product lines in the name of sustainability. Its website notes that with a few small exceptions, the company stopped using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in its products in favor of more sustainable and low-impact plastics in the years since.


Adidas displays Germany's World Cup jersey in June 2018. Photo by Hans-Martin Issler/Getty Images for Adidas.

Adidas isn't alone, either. A bunch of other companies are making moves to a more sustainable future.

At this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 11 global brands pledged to move towards 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging. Amcor, Ecover, Evian, L'Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz all signed on to make the shift by 2025. Ultimately, if there's hope to reassess how much plastic we use and how we use it, it'll take consumer pressure on brands to embrace sustainable technologies.

Individual decisions are good — such as choosing not to use plastic cutlery, not using single-use straws unless you have to, and opting for reusable bags at the grocery store — but it's brands that can make the big changes. Putting pressure on brands to find newer, more sustainable options can also have the effect of fueling innovation and technological advances.

Plastic use is a real problem in need of a real solution.

A report from earlier this year pegged the size of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" at three times the size of France, spanning 617,800 square miles and made up of 79,000 tons of plastic. It's gross, it's sad, and it's absolutely avoidable. Globally, 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.

NOAA divers cut a Hawaiian green sea turtle free from a derelict fishing net during a recent mission to collect marine debris in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Photo by the NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

According to the most recent data out of the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States places more than 25 million tons of plastic in landfills and burns nearly 5 million tons, but recycles just 3.1 million tons each year. The trend isn't looking so good, either. National Geographic found that 91% of the world's plastic isn't being recycled, and if we keep on the pace we're at, there will be 12 billion tons of plastic in landfills globally by 2050.

We deserve a world free from trash. More companies should follow the lead of Adidas and others.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

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