2009 : Who wants to be a recycler ?

Jul 12, 2023, 6:50:07 PM

Opération Balle Jaune, the recycling projet of the French Federation

Nathalie Dechy perfectly remembers that her dad could not  stand coming across lost tennis balls. So, sponsoring the FFT-initiated Opération Balle Jaune, which started in 2009, was a way to honour him. Opération Balle Jaune recycles old tennis balls; so far, it has helped make about 50 sports floors for social and solidarity organisations like rehab centres, medical and educational institutes, motor function centres, and children’s hospitals. People just give out their balls throughout the year, then they are brought to league or committee collecting centres. Once there, the eco-company Ecologic takes them to a special grinding and recycling centre. The rubber and the felt are taken apart through blow-moulding, and they are melted into resin, which is poured into a machine that makes sport floors. FFT leagues then pay for the surface to be laid on local courts. The main purpose is to reduce tennis’ environmental impact, but also to go beyond that and create a circular economy through the financial and social factors of sustainable development. Recycling old balls shows that garbage can be turned into raw material for tennis surfaces, while giving these floors to social and medical local centres reflects the social aspect of the operation. About 900,000 balls were collected in 2022. Will the one-million milestone be hit in 2023?