First off.. Thank you for being an Eco Conscious Athlete and wanting to get rid of your pickleball equipment in a way that is least impactful to mother nature. Unfortunately there are not a lot of options right now that make it easy to recycle your pickleball paddles and balls. And the worst part is many materials used in pickleball can't even be recycled. Carbon is a very detrimental material that can not be recyceld but there are many options out there like repurposing your paddles, properly disposing of your paddle, or buying Eco Friendly (high performance) Pickleball Paddles from the beginning.
1. Repurposing your paddle
Pickleball paddles are mostly designed for performance, 2nd for durability. Top pros use a paddles every other week and cycle through paddles often. The weekend warrior may want a new paddle every 6 months. The best thing you can is to give your paddle to a beginner so might not understand or need the grit that has now worn off you paddle. Close to 50% of the grit is worn off after 10 lengthy hits. This allows you and the paddle to maximize its life and to keep being passed on. Plus it allows people to try new paddles before they make a decision to purchase.
2. Recycling or Throwing Away Your Paddle Properly
This is a tricky one. Carbon cant be recycled. Fiber Glass is not much better. The best material would be Flax Fiber Pickleball Paddle or a Wood Pickleball again. Why wouldn't everyone use a flax fiber or wood paddle then? Great question.. performance.. Carbon has had a strong hold as the best material for high performance pickleball paddles, however with the rise of Flax Fiber technology like Eco Sports their performance is just as good as any Carbon Fiber Paddle. Wood performance still has a long way to go. The Flax and wood are degradable and easier to recycle. There is still plastic on the insides of these paddles the can be recycled but must be separated from the Carbon or Flax. Just throwing them in your trash bin is not the best option. Instead find a local recycler that can help you out with you pickleball paddles or work with Eco Sports Recycle program to ship in your old paddle so they can repurpose it or send them to their partnered recycle program.
3. Buying A Sustainable Paddle from the Beginning
If you want to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your waste from the start, using a Flax Fiber paddle over a Carbon Fiber paddle wins every time. Not only does a hector flax plants absorb 3.7 Tons of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) every year, is biodegradable. Carbon also uses 3 sheets of carbon to get the right spin, where as the Flax only needs 1 sheet again making it more sustainable. You can also buy form companies like Eco Sports that offers Carbon offsets for shipping and is a Carbon Neutral Company. They also don't use any plastic in their packaging that you will just throw away right after.
Eco Conscious Pickle Ballers 🙌
Again thank you for doing your part for the environment when it so comes to pickleball, as there are 3 main ways to get rid of your paddle. Repurpose, Recycle, Reduce. As an avid pickleballer myself I understand the importance of Performance, but how cool is it that we no longer need to compromise performance to create sustainability in pickleball paddles and pickleball balls. So go enjoy your Flax Fiber Picklebal Paddle, send in your old paddle and get a $10 credit and sleep better knowing you are an Aweome Eco Conscious Athlete!