The U.S. Open is going strong, and they’re gonna go through around 100,000 fresh tennis balls. Sadly, that means the top players will soon have thousands of useless tennis balls. Balls don’t bounce the same way after getting whacked by racquets, so the pros always swap them out during matches.
Making and throwing away those fuzzy, rubber-filled balls really messes with the environment. Cutting down trees for rubber causes deforestation, and the nylon covering usually comes from petroleum. Each year, we crank out around 300 million of these tennis balls, but only a small number actually gets recycled or reused.
Tennis balls are notoriously difficult to recycle because you have both rubber and felt, and the adhesive attaching the rubber to the felt is really difficult to break.
To lessen the impact of these fuzzy green balls, just recycling them right or giving old ones a new chance is a possible solution. Another idea is for recreational tennis players- resealable pressure containers that can help extend a ball’s life. But they won’t bring it back to its original bounce.
An old tennis ball might not work for a pro, but if it still has some bounce left, it can be used for other things.
A popular way to reuse them is by using them for the bottom of chairs or walkers. Just cut an X into one side of a ball and put it on each leg of a chair to stop it from making noise when it moves on the floor. You can also do the same thing for a walker to make it more stable.
You can also try using old tennis balls to relieve muscle soreness. Just toss one in a sock or on the ground and either lay down or step on it to loosen up your muscles.
Since 2009, the French Tennis Federation has been collecting used tennis balls and sending them to recycling facilities that remove their exterior and use the rubber for tennis courts.
Reference- National Geographic, Earth Day Network, Tennis Pro Guru