Czech start-up gives new life to used tennis balls

Tennis is hugely popular but it also leaves behind a substantial amount of rubbish in the form of used tennis balls that take hundreds of years to decompose. A Czech start-up is looking at ways to keep the fuzzy yellow balls out of landfills by giving them a new purpose.

An estimated 400 million tennis balls are produced worldwide each year. Grand Slam events such as the recently ended Australian Open go through over 50,000 balls over the course of the tournament. Most of the rubber balls eventually end up in landfills, where they take more than 400 years to decompose.

While that might present only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions of tons of garbage produced every year, experts are trying to find ways how to keep them out of the environment, making tennis more sustainable.

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Authors: Ruth Fraňková, Jan Kaliba