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Wimbledon: Game, set, recycling!

Star tennis players competing at this year’s Wimbledon tournament will be wearing clothing made from recycled plastics. Current champion Angelique Kerber confirms she is happy to support the ‘green’ dress code.

None other than UK fashion designer Stella McCartney created the recycled plastic costumes. She sourced the materials from mainly ocean plastics. She previously created sportswear based on recycled plastics for athletes representing Great Britain at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

In both cases, the discarded plastic is upcycled into yarn, combined with fibres from recycled garments. McCarthy says the materials are dyed using a process that reduces water consumption by 10 litres per garment. 

Greek tennis pro Stefanos Tsitsipas wearing the new recycled plastic attire.

The recycled apparel is part of Wimbledon’s larger circular economy strategy. For example; in case a player breaks a tennis racket, the repaired one will no longer be packaged in plastic. As a result there will be about 4500 fewer plastic bags used on site. This complements the goal to phase out plastic shopping bags at the gift shops and food stalls.

The ban goes for plastic straws as well. This small change is believed to have a big impact as more than 400 000 plastic straws were used during last year’s tournament. Not least, Wimbledon has hired more staff to help spectators recycle bottles and food packaging.

The famous tennis match first took place in Wimbledon in 1877. This year’s edition will take place from 1-14 July. The winner will be awarded over ‎£ 33 million (or US$ 41 million).

It’s interesting to note that the US Major League Soccer clubs celebrated Earth Day (22 April) by playing in clothing made from recycled plastics.

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