What's wrong with regular tennis balls?
They are almost exclusively made in South East Asia, far from where we play tennis. The components of a tennis ball also come from all over the world: A tennis ball can travel up to 80,000 km before it comes out of the package and into your hands. These kilometers come with a price to our environment which includes a lot of marine diesel, kerosene, and CO2 emissions.
The wear and tear on a tennis ball consists of a trail of thousands of plastic microparticles that the polyester/nylon felt layer releases with each blow. Those particles are more than likely to end up at the bottom of the ocean or part of the plastic soup. Plastic soup refers to the ever-increasing amount of plastic pollution in the ocean.
At the end of a tennis ball’s life, few of them end up on a tow bar at the end of a car or in a dog's mouth. Recycling a tennis ball never fully worked: the rubber and the felt were practically inseparable. And that's why about 97% of tennis balls still end up in the garbage heap - and don't decay. Or of course, in the waste incineration. Under the felt layer is black rubber and anyone who has ever seen a car tire burn knows that there is nothing nice about black rubber burning.
Tennis balls are not in the minority. We use about 5.5 million per year in the Netherlands alone. The US Open single-handedly uses up 95,000 balls, Wimbledon 54,000, Roland Garros 65,000 per tournament.
Renewaball and ABN AMRO asked Ecochain, as an independent third party, to make a detailed analysis and comparison of the environmental footprint of Renewaball and a 'regular', non circular tennis ball. You can download it here:
So wouldn't it be nice...
if you could reuse old tennis balls to make new ones? Well, that’s what we have achieved and that ball is called Renewaball.