Have you ever thought about the impact that soccer balls can have on the environment? That round or oval-shaped ball is certainly a fundamental element of many team sports. Hand sewn or decorated with emblematic logos or figures, they can become a real icon, especially during world or local championships. But their main function is to be used and therefore they deteriorate quite often, even more when you practice a professional discipline. What about their end-of-life? We usually find them scattered in the environment or returned by the waves on a pristine beach...thus their ecologic footprint becomes heavier for the materials they are made of.
The National Monegasque Football Team, AS Monaco, has just launched a new generation landmarked soccer ball, recyclable and designed to respect the environment. Thanks to the partnership with Rebond, well-established innovative company specialised in the field, the eco-ball will be soon the official 'ambassador' of AS Monaco, being available from March 2023 in the gadget distribution except for an exclusive online presale until December 2022. The entire proceeds will support the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco in its everlasting commitment in preserving marine ecosystems. This is part of the environmental policies of the famous sports club.
The announcement is made in conjunction with the European Sustainable Development Week ESDW (from the 18th September until the 8th October 2022) that is fostering environmentally friendly actions throughout Europe to accelerate the SDGs application process. The Red-&-White football will symbolise the pioneering spirit and iconic soul of the Principality designed by the artist Docteur Paper.
The outside is covered with plant material (51%) while 62% of the interior is recyclable. Moreover, the product, made partly in France and partly in Punjab (India), is Fair-Trade labelled and it is meant to be returned to the manufacturer when it is no longer usable. The life cycle of the AS Monaco's ball will be granted at every stage, wishing to become a 'device' symbol of a new non-conventional model of economy.
This initiative can really contribute to make a difference and maybe it can initiate the change if benchmarked in view of complying with the Paris Agreement on climate change. We should consider, in fact, that in order to satisfy the huge market demand worldwide, you need large quantities of raw material. In United States they use about 35,000 cow hides to manufacture 700,000 balls necessary for the regular National Football League - NFL season. This implies the presence of intensive cattle breeding producing methane (part of livestock emissions with carbon dioxide). And rubber and plastic are widely employed as well. More than 200 balls may be required for major sporting events like the American Super Bowl, without forgetting those needed for the related workouts. More than 40 million football balls are estimated to be produced annually at global level. This makes you understand the size of the market and the corresponding environmental impacts if not properly managed. ***
To know more about the Rebond project please visit: rebond-project.com
By Maurice Abbati