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Adidas introduces a 3D printed shoe made from ocean plastic waste

Looking to walk on water? Well, these new Adidas shoes won’t let you do quite that, but you can walk on waste that came from the water (and was 3D printed)! And that’s almost the same, right?

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Technicalities aside, the latest shoe from the company combines two previously explored concepts — the use of plastic ocean waste to create a shoe, and 3D-printing a shoe. The former happened in June, when the sportswear company partnered with Parley, an organization dedicated to addressing “major threats towards our oceans.” Made entirely of entirely of “yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste,” the concept shoe was a first attempt at showing how recycled materials could be repurposed for both form and function.

And now, Adidas is going a step further, combining the knitted ocean plastic of the upper part of the shoe with a 3D-printed midsole that is comprised of recycled polyester and gillnets.

Presenting at the Paris Climate Conference on Tuesday, Eric Liedtke of Adidas’ Executive Board noted, “The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes.”

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Calling the latest 3D-printed ocean plastic shoe a “new industry standard,” Liedtke urged others to question “the reason of what we create.” Given the global scale of the ocean waste issue, the Adidas exec said, “We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems.”

Adidas has also taken a number of other steps in hopes of addressing ocean plastic pollution. The company has promised to phase out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores by the end of 2016. They will also end the use of plastic microbeads across all its body care products by December 31, 2015. For now, Adidas employees no longer use plastic water bottles at headquarter meetings.

So while you can’t buy this nifty shoe yet, rest assured that with companies like Adidas and organizations like Parley in the lead, ocean pollution may one day be a problem of the past.