St Petersburg; 19 February 2018 – SIBUR and Wilson, a world leader in tennis and team sports equipment, presented the first eco-friendly basketball made from recycled plastic bottles. It will be the official ball of the VTB United League in the upcoming season. Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport; Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the PJSC SIBUR Holding Management Board; and TV host Ivan Urgant participated in the presentation, which was held during the VTB United League All-Star Game and brought together Russian basketball stars, politicians, businessmen, and public figures. The eco-friendly ball features the same qualities as a professional basketball and fully meets FIBA standards. The inside of each ball is composed of material derived from high-tech recycling of two 1.5 litre plastic bottles. This initiative is a part of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Sort it Right campaign, which focuses on developing and introducing best practice recycling methods and promoting appropriate waste practices among the population. Since 2017, the VTB United League has promoted the Basketbottle ecological initiative with the support of SIBUR, as part of the Sort it Right campaign. Special waste bins shaped like basketball hoops have been placed throughout the League’s Russian arenas for fans to dispose of empty plastic bottles during games. All collected bottles are sent for recycling and the yields are used to produce consumer goods, packaging, road materials, and other in-demand products. Creating the eco-friendly ball was the next logical step in the campaign. “We are striving to make a difference in raising ecological awareness within society by taking a more responsible approach to recycling. From an ecological perspective, one of the main advantages of plastic is that it is almost 100% recyclable and reusable. The eco-friendly ball is a vivid example of how post-consumer plastic can be used to create new useful and interesting products”, said Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board of PJSC SIBUR Holding. “The eco-friendly trend within the League was set by our honorary president, Sergei Ivanov. We strive for consistency in this matter to set a good example for other leagues and companies. We have successfully introduced recycling at our arenas and have taken the next step in using recycled plastics in our daily life. Players are very picky about basketballs, as it’s a crucial element of the game, so we carefully tested the eco-friendly ball, and it fully meets our high standards”, said Sergey Kushchenko, President of the VTB United League. “The Wilson brand has long been known for its active participation in eco-friendly initiatives. The collaboration between SIBUR and Wilson in creating a unique product for VTB United League, our long-time partner, is a wonderful example of cooperation between two different businesses united by the concept of eco-friendly consciousness. Very soon, similar Wilson balls will become available in special retail and sporting goods stores across our country,” said Tatiana Vetrova, General Director of CJSC Amer Sports, Wilson’s exclusive representative in Russia.
International Media Relations