The Recycling of Plastics

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tim Strawn 1 year, 2 months ago.

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    David Hall

    In a world where there is a problem of plastics poluting our oceans as an industry are we as guilty as the next man?

    We all string with synthetic strings, which do not degrade. The majority of us place completed rackets in polythene bags, and at tournaments the bags are used to advertise various companies.

    1. Is it time we stopped using synthetic strings and returned to natural gut, or even tried to find a natural material to replace the synthetics we all use.

    2. Does anyone have an alternative to the plastic bag? Maybe not use them at all, maybe find an alternative material, or has anyone tried to encourage clients to return the plastic bags, thus recycling them, in return for a discounted string job??

    3. Is it time the ATP and the WTA ban the use of plastic bags?

    4. Does anyone know if there is a scheme to recycle or reuse the scraps of strings that we all throw away?


    Hi David,

    I have asked the question before to see if anyone has a way of recycling used synthetic string but there doesn’t seem to be answer our there as yet.

    The polythene bags that I use are from recycled material and the next batch I am looking at are for bio degradable bags.

    If a manufacturer decides to invest in a solution then I feel this would be the best way forward.

    In the bigger picture if countries were to follow Sweden where they burn plastic to produce energy it would help decrease the amount of waste plastic. It produces 99.9% toxic free waste, they have run out of waste and have to import rubbish from other countries.


    David Hall

    Hi Peter
    I’m interested to know where you are going to get your bio degradable bags from?
    I agree that one of the answers would be incineration for all waste material, but there seems to be so much opposition to this process in many countries. So many people believe that the process generates toxic gases but as you say these are all filtered out during the process. Well thats enough of the science lesson!
    I’m sure there is a stringer somewhere doing something with scrap strings but I cannot remember they are!


    John Gugel

    We use plastic bags for every racquet so there is no danger of a client grabbing the wrong racquet! Our bags are unmarked and we use a removable label so the bag can be recycled. We also use rubber bands instead of tape to secure the bag.

    Clients do return the bags believe it or not!


    Tim Strawn

    I checked long ago in my area with regards to recycling nylon/synthetic string products and I found no one who could answer my questions about recycling racquet string. I do, however, like that David has “recycled” this subject because it’s inspired me to check again.

    When IART had the online store I sold plastic racquet bags but in the end, I found it wasn’t a worthwhile product to sell. Many stringers wanted them but the shipping costs nearly always killed the deal PLUS, to find biodegradable or recyclable bags the issue was always the additional price the manufacturer charged for a “special” bag, a cost which in turn, would have to be passed on to the customer. The vast majority of people interested in buying bags complained about the cost as it was, let alone having to consider an even higher price just so they could satisfy their need to care for the environment. There were so many “catch-22’s” with bags that in the end it was a huge relief not to carry them in the store anymore.

    I totally understand the need for bags at tournaments, especially at the tour level. The Wilson team has all the necessary information the technician needs printed on a label that’s attached to the bag, the racquet is inserted and then given to the assigned stringer. Once the racquet is fully completed it goes into another bag without the stringing instructions (duh) and it’s then ready for pickup.

    Thanks for resurrecting this topic David. I’m a big believer in recycling and will give this one another look as far as strings are concerned. Sounds Like Peter has found a good alternative for recycled material being used for bags and is now exploring a biodegradable option. I’ll be most interested to hear about his findings.


    Sorry for the late reply, just got back from the ERSA Symposium in Milan. The following is a reply I received from a company who made our recycled polythene bags, it explains the biodegradeable options which actually seem less eco friendly

    ‘As to eco friendly, it is a matter of some dispute in the industry and outside. There are two types of degradable polythene, oxy degradable and biodegradeable. Oxy degradable is an additive that causes the plastic to degrade by oxidation – it does not disappear but disintegrates into very small pieces, suitable for landfill. It is now banned in France and about to be banned in Spain.
    The alternative does degrade but it also means it cannot be recycled, because it contaminates other plastic so all goes straight to landfill.’


    Tim Strawn

    That’s good information Peter — thanks for that

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