USA World Cup Jerseys to Be Made from Recycled Plastic

Already suffering from post-Olympics withdrawal of international sports competition? Well, the World Cup is less than 100 days away, and Team USA will debut its new jerseys in a match against the Netherlands on March 3.

Manufactured by Nike, this year’s uniforms (known as “kits” in soccer terms) hold extra significance, as they are made from recycled plastic bottles. Nike also uses recycled PETE in uniforms for eight other sports teams.

According to the World Cup blog, the plastic was sourced from landfills in Japan and Taiwan. This resulted in 13 million plastic bottles being reprocessed into recycled polyester.

Each kit will be 100 percent recycled content and comprised of eight plastic bottles. All replica jerseys that are available for fans to purchase will also be made of recycled material.

PETE is a member of the polyester family, meaning it can be melted down and used as a polyester alternative in fabric. Another common use for recycled PETE is to shred it into flakes and use it as lining for jackets and sleeping bags.

This is not Nike’s first experiment with recycled athletic clothing. In 2008, it released a sneaker called Trash Talk made from manufacturing waste.

Recent Posts
Trey Granger
Latest posts by Trey Granger (see all)


  1. I have seen this story now on three different blogs, and each one contains different facts. One said the bottles were from Japan and South Korea, One said Japan and Thailand, and now this one says Japan and Taiwan.

    Even by itself that would cause a person to raise an eyebrow. However, the more insidious fact is that Nike hasnt done a damn thing other than to buy the fabric produced from recycling programs already in operation. In Japan and South Korea, every single PET bottle that is ever produced ends up in the recucling bin. If I tried to slip a PET bottle into the non-burnable trash bins, the little old lady who supervises the trash pickups in my neighborhood would whack me over the head with her umbrella and make me hand-sort every single item in the entire bin. PET bottle recycling in Japan accounts for 99.9% of every bottle ever sold . . . . and the other 0.1% is lying on the side of the road somewhere and just hasnt been found and collected yet.

    So by claiming that this PETE was “sourced from landfills in Japan” is a blatant lie. Nike are taking credit for something that somebody else did, and trying to turn it into positive press coverage for their company. A green blog like this one should know better than to spread Nike’s self-serving BS.

  2. That’s certainly one bit of positive news for a World Cup fan like myself. The likelihood of Nike’s PR machine exaggerating the story for their own benefit does dampen the news a bit, in my view.

Leave a Comment