Plastics – the champions of the UEFA Euro 2016

No Plastics – No Match

Tomorrow, the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship in France will be kicked off with 24 teams competing to take home the glorious trophy. One of the champions of this year’s competition is a material: plastics. Today, more than ever, plastics are a vital component of sports in general and football in particular. Be it the footballs, referees’ whistles, goal nets, corner flags, red and yellow cards, shin pads, football boots, jerseys – all are made of plastics!

Spectators will be keeping a keen eye on the "Beau Jeu”, the official match ball. It is made out of high quality plastics, creating improved grip, touch, and stability to maximize its performance. The six identical propeller-shaped polymer panels of the "Beau Jeu” are thermally bonded together, improving upon the design of "Brazuca”, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball. Now every pass, shot and dribble will be as accurate and powerful as the one before.  

The stars on the pitch will benefit from new eco-friendly lightweight jerseys made out of recycled plastics bottles creating a highly breathable fabric which provides improved ventilation. They promise to be 10% lighter; with 50% more stretch than previous kits, which in a 90 minute match may make a difference when the players push themselves to their limits.

Even off the pitch, plastics make the match possible. 10 football arenas in France will host the matches, some, as for example the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, demonstrate how architectural design meets innovation and – thanks to plastics – is transformed into something remarkable. Transparent polymer membranes stretching over the exterior facade and stands allow daylight to pass through, thereby creating a perfect compromise. They offer visibility for fans in poor weather conditions while creating sufficient light on the turf. At the Grand Stade de Lille, over 30.000 m of plastics profiles dominate the exterior design of the stadium, allowing it to withstand all weather conditions and permitting matches to go on uninterrupted.      

To celebrate the beautiful game and the involvement of plastics in sports, we have launched an online quiz. Check out our section "plastics in sports” and participate in the quiz, you may win one of only six official UEFA Euro 2016 "Beau Jeu” match balls!
Did you know ?
  • This skate is made from used plastics fishing nets abandoned on the beaches and oceans.