The Pickleball International Committee (PIC) is embarking on a significant sustainability endeavor that could redefine the future of sports worldwide. Their initiative, dubbed “Plasticfree Pickleball™,” aims to revolutionize the production of pickleballs by replacing plastic with an environmentally and economically viable alternative material.
Terry Cecil, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Committee, emphasized the urgency of this move, noting, “Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and on a trajectory to become one of the biggest sports in the world.
“The sport has high-intrinsic value for players and potential sponsors, but we have some hurdles to overcome from a sustainability standpoint.
“Unfortunately, in its current form, pickleball is a plastic pollution machine, and the sport will face considerable problems if we don’t take action.
Nano and Microplastic Pollution
He went on to say, “Pickleballs are made of plastic with a limited lifecycle, and they end up in waste streams, which creates nano and microplastic pollution. We can’t allow billions of these balls to pollute the Earth through the playing of the sport.
“Plastic pollution is toxic and, next to climate change, one of the leading problems for the planet. When we find the solution to replacing plastic with an alternative material, we’ll be delivering a historic impact for Earth’s future through collaborative innovation.
“When you look at sustainability challenges, they are mostly reactive programs. Plasticfree Pickleball™ is a proactive sustainability action that the world desperately needs, both in the impact of reducing plastic pollution and in what the campaign represents, which is using innovation to protect the future of our planet.
Pickleball’s Inclusion In The Olympics
Cecil continued, “For those who want to see pickleball included in the Olympics, it will never happen due to the International Olympic Committee’s critical commitment to sustainability.”
Pickleball is currently a burgeoning sport in the U.S. and poised for global recognition. However, it faces substantial sustainability challenges as its reliance on plastic materials renders it a significant contributor to pollution.
Nano and microplastics have permeated virtually every corner of our planet, spanning from the oceans to the heights of the Himalayas, the depths of the Mariana Trench, the icy expanses of Antarctica, and the lush Amazon rainforest.
The presence of plastic pollution extends beyond environmental concerns, posing significant health hazards to humanity through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption.
These minute plastic particles have been detected in human organs such as the lungs and heart, circulating within the bloodstream and even capable of breaching the blood-brain barrier. Their infiltration into our biological systems raises profound health implications.
Recent studies, including research conducted in Japan, have unveiled the startling revelation that microplastics exist within clouds, exerting an influence on climate patterns. This newfound insight underscores the intricate connections between plastic pollution and the broader scope of climate change.
The PIC seeks collaborative support not only from enthusiasts of the sport but also from other communities, particularly the technology sector, whose heightened awareness of plastic pollution aligns with PIC’s mission.
This collective effort aims to address the far-reaching impacts of plastic pollution, necessitating unified action toward sustainable solutions for a healthier planet and populace.
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