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Adidas serves up floating tennis court in Great Barrier Reef

Adidas is building a giant, floating tennis court just off the coast of Australia — and it says it’s trying to raise awareness of pollution in the oceans by doing so. The sporting apparel giant unveiled the massive, full-size court — which was built on a floating barge — that was pushed into the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, which hugs the coastline of Queensland in northeastern Australia. True to its message promoting cleaner oceans, the court was built using recyclable plastic materials. It was then donated to a local school. Adidas has put its brand name behind a campaign to end the dumping of plastic waste in the oceans. To attract publicity for the eco-friendly tennis court, the company trotted out Australian Olympic stars Ian Thorpe and Jessica Fox. “By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans,” Thorpe said. “It’s a problem that has reached unfathomable proportions.” Adidas has also pledged to manufacture products using eco-friendly means. The company says it will eliminate virgin polyester from production by 2024. A favorite of sports apparel brands, polyester gives fabrics greater elasticity and absorbs less moisture, making it easy to wear for athletes. But polyester is sourced from petroleum and is not biodegradable. Adidas has pledged to use recyclable materials for 90% of its apparel lines by the year 2025, according to Elle. Since 2019, Adidas has manufactured tens of millions of pairs of sneakers using recycled plastic recovered from the ocean. It has also vowed to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by the year 2030. Adidas’ rivals in the apparel space have also vowed to move toward sustainability in marketing their products. Nike has rolled out Nike Grind, an initiative inviting customers to return their old and used Nike shoes so that the material can be recycled and repurposed into other products.

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