Joel Tadman analyses the different ways golf manufacturers are tackling plastic polution to reduce the impact of its products on the environment
The Golf Gear Saving The Planet
We all acknowledge it is important to do our bit to help reduce our impact on the environment and plastic waste is one of the major problems this planet faces.
Some experts say by 2050 our oceans may be filled with more plastic than fish. Interestingly, clothing is a big contributor and it is estimated that 35 per cent of all microplastics entering the ocean come from synthetic textile waste.
When it comes to golf gear, we are completely at the behest of the manufacturers in trying to make a difference, however small it may seem, but thankfully more environmentally-friendly options are becoming available.
Adidas has really grasped the opportunity for positive change, partnering with Parley for the Oceans in creating polo shirts and footwear made from discarded plastic collected from beaches. Its efforts to end plastic waste continued into 2020 with the launch of the Primeknit range of shoes and apparel and the company aims to convert all of its virgin polyester to recycled in every application where a solution exists by 2024.
“Once we found out what Parley was doing and that we could take plastic and actually make performance product it was a win/win for both of us. Overall our company understands the importance of sustainability and we want to be a leading company when it comes to how much of our products incorporate recycled material, “Masun Denison, Adidas Global Footwear Director, told GM last year.
“It is only the beginning but it is a core belief that we need to increase our efforts in this space. Over the next few years you will see us bring out more products with recycled fabric across both apparel and footwear and it will become a higher percentage of our line. It’s not enough to talk about it, we plan to take action.”
Elsewhere, apparel brand Galvin Green has launched its UpCycle range made from the factory’s discarded fabric and also unveiled its new Dwight Insula sweater made from as many as 17 litre-sized plastic bottles.
Ocean Tee, the makers of sustainable bamboo tees, recently unveiled its new Mako polo shirt made with non-toxic dyes and Organic Cotton mixed with a completely new biodegradable elastane called ROICA Eco-Smart. It comes in recyclable packaging and means that at the end of its usefulness it can be recycled or because fibres will naturally break down over time, it can return to the ground safely and become part of our eco-system.
“From the way that crops are grown to the space discarded garments take up in landfill, fashion is creating untold damage on the environment,” says Ocean Tee Founder Ed Sandison.
“But a lot of it isn’t visible. For instance, when garments made from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon are washed they release plastic microfibres that ultimately end up being washed into our rivers and oceans. We don’t want people to stop shopping, but we want to offer people a sustainable alternative without compromising on performance.”
Outside of apparel, Sun Mountain has made its new Eco-Lite bags out of 25-30 recycled plastic bottles.
So while you might not think as a golfer you can influence the future, by combining all these pieces of kit together you would be helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is having such a devestating effect on our coastal communities and the wildlife that inhabits it.
I sincerely hope it won’t be long before every other brand follows suit and buying a sustainable, environmentally golf products becomes the norm.