• Home Home

Nike gets slammed in viral thread for keychain sent with sneaker purchase: 'Greenwashing at best'

"Sad that they just repackaged their trash."

Nike pouch

Photo Credit: u/tsirs / Reddit

Reddit users are calling out Nike for sending out small packets of plastic along with new sneaker purchases.

One Reddit user recently sparked backlash against the brand after posting in the subreddit r/WhatIsThisThing to figure out the purpose of a strange freebie they received with their new shoes.  

The photo shows a small, clear plastic pouch marked with the sneaker giant's iconic Swoosh logo and filled with what appears to be tiny bits of plastic.

"Bought a new pair of Nike shoes. Inside the box was this small, plastic bubble, filled with air, and what looks like tiny, colorful micro plastics," the user writes. "Has a loophole on the top and is about an inch long."

Most commenters agree that it was supposed to be a keychain (hence the loop at the top), but as for its contents, one Redditor had the final answer: Nike Grind fluff.

Nike Grind, a recycling initiative, began in 1992 as part of Nike's image overhaul after it received a barrage of negative publicity regarding its use of sweatshops

According to the brand's website, the program "transforms manufacturing scrap and end-of-life shoes into recycled Nike Grind materials" that can then be upcycled into other products. 

"It's all part of our vision for a circular future—one where the concept of waste no longer exists," Nike states

Recently, Nike has made further moves to promote itself as a sustainable company, announcing its "Move to Zero" campaign in 2019 and becoming a signatory member of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2021. In both cases, it vowed to cut its carbon pollution to zero.

Nike's promise to recycle its product and lessen its negative environmental impact sounds noble, and in some cases — as with the company's partnership with Kirei, which turns Nike Grind fluff into acoustic sound baffles — it is.

But inserting a pouch of ground-up plastic and trying to pass it off as a free keychain, which most consumers will end up tossing in the trash, definitely missed the sustainability mark with many Reddit users.

"Look how we clean up the environment by making lots of plastic pouches that people will throw out," says one user. 

"Sad that they just repackaged their trash," says another. 

But the comment that received the most attention brought down the gavel. 

"Probably to show how Nike helps to clean up our planet. Greenwashing at best," the user writes.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider