Tennis balls are more harmful to the environment than you think.
This is why we developed Renewaball
What's wrong with regular tennis and padel balls?
They are almost exclusively made in South East Asia, far from where we play. The components of a tennis/padel ball also come from all over the world: A 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/padel ball consists of a trail of thousands of plastic microparticles that the polyester/nylon fibre components in the 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/padel 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/padel ball never fully worked: the rubber and the felt were practically inseparable. That's why about 97% of all balls still end up in the garbage heap - and don't decay. Or, of course, in 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/padel balls are not in the minority. We use over 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 Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and a comparison of the environmental footprint of Renewaball and a 'regular', non-circular tennis ball. You can download it here: