ABN AMRO to recycle 50,000 tennis balls into Krajicek playground

Press release -

ABN AMRO is looking for 50,000 used tennis balls. The bank plans to use these balls to make a playground for the Krajicek Foundation, a partner of ABN AMRO. ABN AMRO is calling on all people in the Netherlands – including its employees – to donate their used tennis balls at one of the bank’s branches.

Visitors to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (WTT) will be encouraged to take their used tennis balls with them to the event. Tennis balls are already recycled at grand slam tournaments such as Roland Garros and the US Open. ABN AMRO is now doing this for the first time in the Netherlands as part of its strategy to promote sustainability.

Every year, over five million used tennis balls in the Netherlands are thrown away, only some 70,000 of which are collected and re-used. This means that more than 95 per cent are discarded and burned – a real waste, seeing as the rubber used in the balls can be easily re-used. ABN AMRO is therefore calling on all people in the Netherlands to give their used tennis balls a second life. Visitors to the WTT – to be held in Rotterdam from 9 to 17 February – can deposit their used tennis balls in special containers in the Ahoy Stadium.

People can also take their used tennis balls to their nearest ABN AMRO branch for this purpose, from the first day of the tournament. To recycle the tennis balls, ABN AMRO has teamed up with Innovation Team, which is also in charge of processing the tennis balls towards the floor of a Krajicek playground.

A Krajicek playground is a multi-functional sports field in disadvantaged neighbourhoods that typically offer few opportunities to safely play and engage in sports outdoors. Under the supervision of neighbourhood youngsters/Krajicek scholarship recipients, local youth can freely play and do sports in a safe environment. “I’m really happy with this initiative to call on all people in the Netherlands to do something for the environment while at the same time helping kids who have only limited opportunities to do sports and play outside,” says Richard Krajicek, WTT Tournament Director and founder of the Krajicek Foundation. “What makes this extra-special for me is that it pulls together my passion for tennis and my dream to have all children grow up safely and be able to do sports, and to make sure that no child is ever side-lined. I really hope that this wonderful initiative by ABN AMRO and its partners is the first of many. Wouldn’t it be just great if all our future Krajicek playgrounds were made of used tennis balls?”

Game changers at the WTT

“ABN AMRO promotes the transition to a circular economy and is very happy to give tennis balls a new lease on life,” says Mark van Rijt, Head of Brand, Marketing & Communications at ABN AMRO. “In addition to the Krajicek playgrounds there’s a lot happening in this area, in the shape of a range of sustainable products that we’ve dubbed ‘game changers’, so do come and visit our ABN AMRO stand at the tournament. One of the products on show is the Circular, a shoe co-created with Quick, the soles of which are largely made of used tennis balls. The ball boys and girls as well as the line umpires will wear them at the tournament. Meanwhile, Dopper designer Rinke van Remortel has come up with tennis racket dampeners, Ceyes with green roof tiles and HearO with speakers, all made with used tennis balls. And we promote all this, of course, as we and our clients and partners are looking to lead and accelerate the transition to sustainability and a circular economy.”

About the Krajicek Foundation

The Krajicek Foundation is a Dutch sports foundation that provides extensive guidance to children and young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and encourages them to play and engage in sports together while staying close to home. This way, they will grow up healthy and safe through sport, and serve as an inspiration to the young in their own neighbourhoods. The Krajicek Foundation was founded in 1997 and now runs 125 Krajicek playgrounds across the Netherlands where 5,000 children can play and engage in sports. In addition, the Foundation offers scholarships and opportunities for further development to 185 youngsters through the Krajicek Scholarship programme. In this way, the Krajicek Foundation and its partners help to contribute to a better future for Dutch youngsters, and to a happy, sociable environment through sports.

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