Game On Recycling
Australia is a proud sporting nation with a rich history of athletic achievements. Through our passions, large volumes of sports equipment are used and discarded every year. This includes an estimated 10 million tennis balls, 2 million basketballs, and much more.
At the end of their life, these items make their way to our dwindling landfills. Or, in a worst-case scenario, they skip landfills and leak into the environment.
We believe that these items should have a better life at the end of their use, which is why we helped create Game On Recycling.
a new legacy
Game On Recycling first launched a collection solution for tennis balls.
In 2022, we launched additional collection services to retrieve the other sports equipment that we have targeted, such as inflatable sports balls (soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, etc) and ski equipment.
Game On Recycling took the first steps to set up a national recycling system and help curb the waste that is created by the sports industry. This is the beginning, but we know that Game On Recycling will be a significant step in innovating for a sustainable future in sports.
HOW IT WORKed
We provided free recycling solutions to help Australians collect the sporting equipment at their location.
Organisations that registered to become a collection point received a collection unit and cardboard boxes. Each cardboard box comes with a prepaid Australia Post Label, to allow for free shipping to the recycling facility.
LOCAL SORTING AND RECYCLING
Collected tennis ball made their way to a Melbourne facility. They were be sorted between what can be reused, and what should be recycled. Items that were recycled were sent to local manufactures in the production of floor coverings and hopefully, one day, a new tennis court.
What did we achieve?
Thanks to the dedication of our recycling and retail/ club partners, Game On reached remarkable milestones, collecting 35 tonnes of tennis balls and rackets, inflatable sports balls and snow sports equipment. This equipment was either redeployed through charity partners for reuse, given to research companies for recycling trials.
Melbourne recycler, WeCollect, granulated the tennis balls to 4mm pieces. This shred comprises of nylon and rubber. The percentage of nylon to rubber was higher than predicted. Samples were sent to multiple underlay and matting companies for manufacturing trials.
Inflatable Sports Balls
WeCollect, shredded the inflatable balls to approximate 20mm pieces. This shred comprised of synthetic and natural fabrics, foam, leather and rubber. Samples were sent to multiple underlay, matting and R&D companies for manufacturing trials. A prototype of cricket stumps was created containing a core of granulated tennis ball and shredded inflatable ball materials.
Overall, we have learned that there is a strong appetite for recycling in Australia amongst the industry, however at this early stage this didn’t translate fast enough to change consumers habits. We have learned that education in the community is fundamental. We have learned that partnerships with brands, manufacturers, clubs and sporting bodies are necessary for success.
The Future Of Game On Recycling:
Game On Recycling was originally an effort by Wilson Sporting Goods Co. and Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform. It is also supported by a grant from the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund. In 2024, the Australian Sporting Goods Association, will be taking over the operations of Game On Recycling. ASGA brings much sustainability synergies and industry expertise, and it is our hope that with their support, Game On Recycling will not only persevere, but thrive in its mission.
Together, we have a deep passion for sports, well-being, and our beautiful (and incredibly interesting) playground. Sport has always been a way for us to unite and we believe that the sporting industry and community can become groundbreaking leaders in building a circular economy, and creating a future to be proud of.
Learn More About Game On Recycling.
Wilson Considered Products
THE TRINITI BALL & The Blade v8 Range
This is the beginning of a long journey, as we learn how to build a circular sports industry.
In relation to this, you may be interested in viewing our groundbreaking Triniti Tennis Ball. The Triniti is the first performance tennis ball designed with fully recyclable packaging, featuring a unique octagonal paper container that is fully recyclable after use. The ball core also integrates a unique plastomer material that impressively extends fresh ball feel, while STR Felt provides enhanced durability and is 50% more flexible than the standard ball for better feel at contact.
We've also updated our Blade series to incorporate AGIPLAST BUMPERS & GROMMETS, a bio-based plastic derived from castor bean oil creates a more eco-friendly racket strong enough to perform at an elite level