As individuals and companies become educated about climate change, finding an alternative to new plastic production is on the top of the list for many corporations.

Since it takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years for plastic to degrade, it makes sense to either eliminate unnecessary use of plastic or use recycled plastic when possible.

One of the most egregious statistics to emerge from this glut of nondegradable plastics is the pollution of our oceans. Forty percent of the world’s ocean surfaces are covered with floating plastic. Eighty percent of this pollution comes from the land.

About 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die yearly because of this pollution. This alone is a good reason to eliminate our dependency on a substance that is doing so much environmental damage.

As people have learned more about how plastic damages the environment, they demand alternative solutions. One of the best examples is the elimination of "single-use" plastics, like bags and straws.

States like Massachusetts and California have passed plastic bag bans. However, last month the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cities cannot ban the bag.

As plastic politics rages on in the legal sector, private companies continue to have more options. We now routinely hear about these initiatives as more people join the crusade for a healthier planet.

Recently, both Starbucks and American Airlines announced plans to reduce the use of plastic straws. McDonalds in the U.K. and Ireland is testing the elimination of plastic straws as well.

While these kinds of initiatives are helpful, it will make a bigger impact if more companies begin replacing single-use plastics with recycled versions. When larger companies step up to the plastic ban plate, it sends a clear message that the issue is important and more sustainable business practices are possible.

Take the case of Adidas, the world’s second largest sportswear company. Recently, Adidas has decided to jump on the plastics initiative.

Currently, 50 percent of all Adidas products are made from plastic. But that’s about to change. By 2024, Adidas plans to only use recycled plastic in its products. By 2019, Adidas clothing lines will feature 41 percent recycled polyester.

Adidas has shown previous interest in stopping ocean plastic pollution. In 2016, the company worked with Parley for the Oceans to create and sell approximately 1 million pairs of less-polluting shoes. These Ocean Plastic shoes have an upper sole made with ocean plastic and a midsole that is 3-D printed.

It also introduced a shoe made from biodegradable materials, and the German giant switched from using plastic bags to paper bags in its retail stores.

Although it may not seem like much, this kind of switch saves 40 tons of plastic annually. More important is that the initiation of new business practices, like using more sustainable raw materials, shows other companies that not only is it possible to make a difference, but it is negligent if they are not contributing to the cause.

Only time will reveal the overall impact these anti-plastic and recycled plastic initiatives will have on the planet’s overall health. In the meantime, many common products, like athletic sneakers, are sporting a commitment to common sense solutions like recycled plastic.