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04 | 2010

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Application News Soccer

Application News Soccer Ball for Africa Pebax ® Rnew, a bio-sourced elastomer produced by Arkema, France has been selected by Sony for a new original soccer ball. “We set ourselves the challenge to create a ball for the African children. The result is a brand new, highly durable football made from a super-tough, bioplastic material,” says the Sony website, spefically dedicated to this project, “We gave the ball a name - ‘Join the Team!’, that reflects our vision of children chasing their dreams and sharing the joys of football with their friends.” The ball was specifically developed for donation to children in Africa. In many African countries, including Republic of South Africa, where just recently the Spanish team won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and for which Sony was an official sponsor, soccer is often being played in very demanding conditions, which shortens durability of the balls. Wishing the children to play soccer as long as possible, Sony has leveraged its expertise in material research to make ‘Join the Team!’, a unique soccer ball built to endure Africa’s rugged terrains, in which Pebax Rnew is used. This high durability thermoplastic elastomer, is partially made from a non-edible renewable resource, castor oil, which contributes to reduce global warming. This ball features a dual layered surface, one of them being in Pebax Rnew, which brings 1.6 times higher durability than conventional soccer balls. The footballs were and will be distributed by NGOs - UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) - during and after the 2010 World Cup. This football donation program is part of a wider project called ‘Earth FC’ which aims to draw the attention of the international community to the major health challenges facing Africa, e.g. the spread of AIDS. MT www.sony.net/earthfc www.arkema.com Golf Players Feed Fish The Spanish golf ball supplier Albus Golf S.L. has developed a ball that is – according to the company – 100% biodegradable and non-toxic. The Spanish have just launched the so-called Ecobioball to allow players to play near water without littering the lakes etc. on the course, and to play golf close to aquatic environments (sea, ocean, rivers, lakes and ponds). Once the balls hit the water they biodegrade in less than 48 hours, says Albus Golf. In less than 24 hours their external water-soluble synthetic polymer coating starts to open and between 36 and 48 hours the internal core, comprising 100% fish food, is released into the water. The material used for the shell is manufactured from non-contaminating materials such as PVA, and is certified as a biodegradable by LGAI Technological Center according to OECD 301D. Tests also confirm non-toxicity to fish and daphnia. Ecobioball has the same physical appearance as any other golf ball with a weight of 50.5 grams ± 1.5 grams and a diameter of 42.8 mm ± 1 mm. Where short irons are used the distance achieved can be the same as with a normal ball, while long irons may achieve up to 70-80% of the usual distance, and woods can drive up to 60-70% of the usual distance. In any case, the purpose of the biodegradable golf ball is not so much to obtain the maximum driving distance but rather to have the opportunity to practise close to marine environments without polluting them, and to bring added value to such environments. The single-use product opens up the possibility of practising golf on, for instance, cruise ships, beaches, seafront hotels and resorts and helps beginners when trying to get past the water hazards. Albert Buscato, CEO of Albus Golf, thinks that it is, of course, going to be a while before something like this makes its way into championship golf. But since it is a single-use ball, the cost will be considerably lower than the average golf ball. BSL www.albusgolf.com 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/10] Vol. 5

& J O I N T L Y P R E S E N T T H E F I F T H A N N U A L G L O B A L A W A R D F O R D E V E L O P E R S , M A N U F A C T U R E R S A N D U S E R S O F B I O - B A S E D P L A S T I C S . Call for proposals Enter your own product, service or development, or nominate your favourite example from another organisation Please let us know: 1. What the product, service or development is and does 2. Why you think this product, service or development should win an award 3. What your (or the proposed) company or organisation does Your entry should not exceed 500 words (approx 1 page) and may also be supported with photographs, samples, marketing brochures and/or technical documentation. More details and an entry form can be downloaded from www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/award The Bioplastics Award will be presented during the 5th European Bioplastics Conference December 1/2, 2010, Düsseldorf, Germany supported by

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