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Shuttles and the Environment

Shuttles and the Environment

James Lynch

Shuttles and the Enviroment - new BWF initiative 

With the BWF announcing this week that they will be starting to introduce “synthetic” shuttles into BWF sanctioned events it got us thinking here at badmintonalpha. On the face of it this seems a bit of an odd move as the global trend is to be reducing plastic waste, yet here we are replacing a product constructed from natural materials, the regular feather shuttle that we all know and swapping it with a synthetic plastic shuttle. 

The reasons the BWF have given for this is to reduce shuttle usage as these will play like a feather but be longer lasting. The questions we have is will these new shuttles be recyclable at all and will there be a comprehensive recycle program for them ? I very much doubt they can be recycled in the domestic system, what with the cork and cork covering attached to there needs to be something in place. Are the current feather shuttles as biodegradable as the first seem ? Feather and cork almost certainly but does any “coating” or glue prevent this from happening at all ? 

This is largely from a perspective of the everyday consumer and league level clubs, at BWF tournaments shuttles can easily be collected and almost certainly be disposed of and recycled in an effective manner where possible. 

These are all probably questions for the Badminton Federations and shuttle manufacturers to answer in the current world where plastic waste is now a hot topic. Let’s not get started on waste from badminton / tennis / squash strings. 

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