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article imageThese Adidas 3-D printed sneakers are made from ocean waste

By Megan Hamilton     Dec 12, 2015 in Environment
Paris - During the climate talks in Paris earlier this week, Adidas unveiled a new type of sneaker that has a 3-D printed mid-sole fashioned from recycled polyester and gillnets.
The company did this in partnership with the group Parley for the Oceans.
The focus of the partnership is to reduce the impact of plastic waste in the world's oceans, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
The sneaker is still in prototype form, but it will have an upper half made of "ocean plastic content" and the aforementioned 3-D printed mid-sole of recycled polyester and gillnets, which are wall-like fish traps. The environmental group's mission is to reduce the amount of plastic now strangling oceans across the world.
The 3-D printed shoe is an effort to "set new industry standards [that] start questioning the reason of what we create," said Adidas executive board member Eric Liedtke, in a statement released Wednesday, the Monitor reports.
Its design is also based on Adidas' Futurecraft 3-D, introduced earlier this year, The Verge reports. This prototype, Adidas reps say, was a "statement of intent," in which the company imagines a future where customers can have their running style analyzed right at the store, before a custom-fitted shoe is 3-D printed as they wait.
It's an innovation that comes at a good time, and representatives from both organizations spoke at the COP21 climate summit in Paris, where 200 nations reached a deal to slow global warming, BBC News reports.
CNET reports that in 2006, there were over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic for every square mile of ocean. This deadly debris kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals yearly, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports. Sadly, this is all we know about. The impact caused by plastic debris on marine life is, for the most part, unknown.
Almost 90 percent of the world s seabirds have plastics in their intestines.
Almost 90 percent of the world's seabirds have plastics in their intestines.
Chris Jordan/Greenpeace
The gillnets were retrieved by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has also partnered with Parley for the Oceans. The crew spent 110 days tracking an illegal poaching vessel and finally caught it off the coast of West Africa.
"At Parley for the Oceans, we want to establish the oceans as a fundamental part of the debate around climate change," Cyrill Gutsch, the group's founder, said in a statement. "Our objective is to boost public awareness and inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans."
Because the shoe is still in the prototype stage, it won't wind up in stores any time soon, The Verge notes.
Adidas notes that its efforts to introduce materials made of recycled ocean waste are intended to spur clothing manufacturers to rethink the materials they use, the Monitor notes.
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