If you’re sad that the global camaraderie at the Olympics has come to an end, don’t fret: The World Cup is fast approaching. To add to the excitement, with about 100 days left until the first match, Nike has unveiled its 2010 World Cup kits—or uniforms, for those unfamiliar with soccer jargon. The best part: They’re made from discarded plastic bottles, harvested from landfills in Japan and Taiwan, that were melted down into yarn and then spun into fabric.
This will be the first time that all of Nike’s national teams, including Brazil, Portugal, and the Netherlands, will be wearing jerseys made from recycled polyester, which the sports-apparel giant is hailing as the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced kits in football history.
With the recycled jerseys, Nike has diverted nearly 13 million plastic bottles from the landfill.
Each shirt comprises up to eight recycled plastic bottles, a move that reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared with manufacturing virgin polyester. Besides saving raw materials, Nike also diverted nearly 13 million plastic bottles (or nearly 560,000 pounds of polyester waste) from the landfill—enough to cover more than 29 football pitches.
If the recycled bottles used to produce the jerseys were laid end to end, according to Nike, they would span more than 3,000 kilometers (roughly 1,860 miles), a distance that exceeds the entire South African coastline. How do you say “amazing” in all the players’ languages?