Grinding Out The Details

Currently, Let Me Play has a large project underway in New Orleans. After the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, the metropolitan area of the city has seen a shortage of safe, high-performance places for local residents to engage in sports. Working with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Let Me Play has begun plans to resurface five Recreation Department facilities by Nike Grind partners, effectively bringing sports back to the youth of New Orleans. Rebound Ace–a Nike Grind partner–is installing four outdoor cushioned basketball courts, and Connor Sport Court is installing an Elastiplus indoor system. In conjunction with the New Orleans Let Me Play initiatives, Reuse-A-Shoe collections have also been established at over 40 Nike retail stores, local schools and other retail stores in the area.

Down The Road And Beyond

Nike’s long-term goal is to create an entirely closed-loop process–from product manufacture to end of life to high-value products, especially new footwear and apparel–essentially eliminating waste at all stages. While this is still some way off, the Nike Grind program has made significant steps towards harnessing footwear waste streams, reducing the environmental burden of landfills and incineration.

The Nike Grind and Reuse-A-Shoe programs have not only helped reduce the environmental impact of producing and selling athletic footwear, but have also helped empower youth through Let Me Play initiatives. As companies worldwide continually look to integrate eco-friendly business practices and community give-back into their daily operations, Nike looks to lead the way by demonstrating its commitment to uncover innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact. Now, at least some athletic shoes are not just worn out, they play on.

For more information on Nike Grind and where to purchase an athletic playing surface from an exclusive Nike Grind partner, visit

Simon Lofts is the senior manager of corporate responsibility for Nike Inc.

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Partners And Providers Of Nike Grind

Connor Sport Court–producer of indoor hardwood and synthetic court systems. Nike Grind Upper material is utilized in the creation of the foam padding, which is used as underlayment on hardwood courts. Visit

Rebound Ace–provider of cushioned tennis court systems and outdoor basketball courts. Using Nike Grind Foam, the company creates multi-purpose courts, which can be found in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Visit

Dodge-Regupol–creator of cork, cork/rubber and recycled rubber products. Incorporating Nike Grind rubber, the company supplies rubberized fitness-room flooring. Visit

Atlas Track–producer of track surfacing. The company manufactures all-weather track, basketball and tennis surfaces with Nike Grind Rubber in the systems. Visit

Playtop–Europe’s impact-absorbing playground safety surfacing manufacturer that installs its product worldwide. The systems contain Nike Grind Rubber in the upper-surface layer. Visit

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Pieces And Parts

A list of the parts of the shoe and the quantity of pairs of athletic shoes or the manufacturing equivalent that generally go into making each type of athletic surface:

· Outdoor basketball court: Midsole Foam; 2,500 pairs

· Outdoor tennis court: Midsole Foam; 2,500 pairs

· Full field or soccer pitch: Outsoles; 50,000 – 75,000 pairs

· Mini soccer field: Outsole; 10,000-20,000 pairs

· Running track: Outsole; 75,000 pairs

· Playground: Outsole; 2,500 pairs

· Indoor wood basketball court: Upper; 2,500 pairs

· Indoor synthetic basketball court: Midsole Foam; 2,500 pairs

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