Urgent Action Required to Mitigate the Environmental Impact of Feather Shuttles

    We, the undersigned, call upon BWF to take immediate and decisive action to address the environmental impact caused by the widespread use of feather shuttlecocks in badminton.

    The lifecycle of these shuttlecocks, from production to disposal, has significant environmental consequences that must be mitigated to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.

    Feather shuttles are made from the feathers of ducks and geese. This not only raises ethical concerns but also involves intensive farming practices that contribute to habitat destruction, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, with higher risk of zoonotic diseases that effect those who work and live close by the farms but which spread to the UK in 2023.
    The procurement of feathers involves inhumane practices, contradicting principles of animal welfare and veganism.

    Professional badminton players change feather shuttles every 2-4 points during a match. This high turnover rate leads to significant consumption, with each player potentially using hundreds of shuttles in a single tournament.
    While amateur players may use more shuttles per game, from not hitting the shuttle correctly. The effect of a growing 339 million players worldwide, leads to a substantial environmental footprint.

    Feather shuttles are single-use items, leading to a vast amount of waste. These shuttles are not recyclable, contributing to landfill overflow and environmental pollution.
    The materials used in feather shuttles do not decompose quickly, exacerbating the issue of waste management and environmental degradation.

    We urge BWF to take immediate effect of the following steps to mitigate the environmental impact of feather shuttles:

    1. Accept responsibility and show support in promoting the development and usage of high-quality synthetic shuttles that offer similar performance characteristics to feather shuttles without the associated environmental and ethical issues while phasing out the use of the feather slowing the demand down.

    2. Start to approve synthetic shuttles in tournaments and phase out the feathers by 2026 in time for the next Olympics.

    3. Establish programs to collect and recycle used feather shuttles, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

    4.Invest in R&D to (research and development) create more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes for shuttlecocks.

    The environmental impact of feather shuttlecocks is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention.

    By promoting sustainable practices and using the readily available alternatives, we can significantly reduce the negative environmental effects associated with badminton.

    Will you advocate for the implementation of these measures to ensure a more sustainable and ethical future for the sport that is being introduced to our children.
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