Biobased GOAAAAALS: World Cup soccer balls to include renewable rubber

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In Brazil, ARLANXEO’s biobased ethylene-propylene-diene monomer rubber will be used in the official soccer balls used in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

adidas will use the EPDM—dubbed Keltan Eco—in the sponge rubber layer directly underneath the ball’s outer cover. The material had to meet “strict” density, hardness, weight, elasticity, and resilience requirements and will help support “optimal bounce characteristics during games,” adidas says.

“For us, ecological sustainability was a fundamental criterion in the selection of products for the World Cup soccer ball,” says Stefan Bichler, project manager of Football Operations at adidas AG. “We wanted to create the new soccer ball using high-tech materials that have impressive performance characteristics and are also sustainable.”

ARLANXEO produces Keltan Eco at its Triunfo, Brazil facility using sugarcane-based ethylene produced by Braskem.