Goals for Zero Plastic

adidas and Common Goal join forces to help reduce plastic and create access to sports at a refugee camp in Greece 

At the Schisto refugee camp in Greece, plastic pollution is becoming a large environmental challenge – Common Goal community organisation Organization Earth will address this as part of adidas and Common Goal’s move for the planet global activation.   

Schisto camp lies just outside Athens, in the mountains of Piraeus, and is a space where many people have found a new home. However, the camp is overcrowded and has environmental problems that prevent inhabitants from developing a way of life with opportunities for growth and recreation.   

Organization Earth will address this with ‘Goals for Zero Plastic’ which aims to offer 800 camp residents access to sustainable sports facilities as well as raise environmental awareness in order to reduce plastic pollution at the camp.   

“Some games matter more than others and playing for a sustainable and just future is the most important one,” said Kyriaki Retzeka, head of programmes at Organization Earth.  

The project revolves around three core actions.  

Turning recycled materials into sports infrastructure: 

The organisation will develop the ‘Goals for Zero Plastic’ programme that aims to offer 800 camp residents, both children and adult refugees and asylum seekers, access to sustainable sports facilities. The use of approximately 300kg of recycled plastic collected from 220,000 plastic bottle caps will enable the creation of upcycled goalposts, benches, corner flags and recycling bins.  

The project will also upgrade the existing football pitch from concrete to artificial turf, to offer the possibility to play sports more safely. 

Sustainable management process: 

A plastic reduction and reuse policy will be introduced on how to reduce plastic pollution in the camp to make a long-lasting impact that goes beyond the current residents. ‘The Goals for Zero Plastic Initiative’ will inspire sports activity participants, employees, volunteers and other NGOs to recycle plastic and participate in environmental action. 

Education on environmental sustainability and sports:   

The organisation will deliver environmental and awareness-raising activities in or near the newly created sustainable infrastructure. In each sport session, one of the approximately 100 children and 40 adults will be rewarded as Sports Climate Champion. 

In 2023, Organization Earth completed the pitch construction in Schisto. Including goalposts, benches, and corner flags made from recycled plastic, ensuring the pitch's functionality, and safety was enhanced with two extensions behind the goalpost areas. 

Until mid-November, Organization Earth (OE) conducted weekly environmental activities primarily involving minors. OE's environmental educators focused on recycling, reusing procedures, composting, and workshops on climate change, adaptation, and the UN's SDGs. Since early December, with the construction of a vegetable garden, activities have shifted towards engaging minors and generating adult interest in garden-related activities. 

The organisation continues to maintain recycle bins in the camp for plastic collection, while residents now have access to the pitch. Also, participants in sport sessions are encouraged to use multi-use bottles or recycle single-use plastic bottles immediately after training. These efforts reflect the ongoing nature of their sustainable management process.