Founded in 2009, esosport is the fruit of an idea that came to Nicolas Meletiou, Managing Director of ESO and a keen runner, during a discussion with friends Fulvio Massini, athletic trainer, and Marco Marchei, former marathon runner, about the correct way to dispose of old sports shoes.
Thinking about the fate of these items, which today tend to be thrown aside when consumed and pile up in the closets of many sports enthusiasts, Nicolas, based on his experience with ESO in the recovery, disposal and recycling of office waste, considered for the first time the possibility of recycling shoes. This presented an incredible opportunity for him to combine his passion for the world of sports with his consolidated expertise in the world of recycling.
The founding of esosport fully reflects the parent company’s philosophy of the ‘Recycling Cycle’ – a philosophy based on the awareness that the environment is a heritage to be preserved and that waste can be transformed into a resource, thus minimising its environmental impact and, why not, giving it a second life.
To esosport minimizing the accumulation of waste in landfills has become a real ecological challenge, as well as being an innovative service, the first and only one of its kind in Italy and Europe.
In 2017 the company’s passion for sport developed further. As a result of an injury sustained during a race, Nicolas Meletiou was forced to take a break from running, and so discovered a new passion, cycling. He decided to embark on a cycling trip, and along the way he got a puncture. After he changed the inner tube he wondered, “Now where do I throw the old one?”. The first bicycle shop he asked at would not accept the old tube, saying that they did not know how to dispose of it.
This problem of not being able to correctly dispose of this type of waste led to the idea of an esosport bike service geared to supporting sports stores, bike sharing and local councils in the management and disposal of inner tubes and worn out bicycle tyres.
Thus another piece was added to esosport’s eco-sustainable vision of the world of sports.
“It is with great pleasure that our Federation bestows its patronage on the esosport bike project”, says Renato Di Rocco, President of the Italian Cycling Federation, seen here in the picture with Nicolas Meletiou. “We are convinced that there is a great need for this initiative, which so far has been non-existent in Italy. Cycling is a perfect means of conveying messages of environmental sustainability, such as that of esosport bike, which we hope will spread as quickly as possible”.
In 2018, the project expanded thanks to the introduction of the esosport balls project: “Return your ace” is the pay-off created for the collection and recycling of used tennis balls in clubs, specialized shops and sports facilities with tennis courts.
A medium-sized tennis club consumes up to about 700 balls per month: finding a new way to this waste is a must for the protection of the environment.
esosport run, esosport bike and esosport balls are two clear examples of a new model of economy, the circular model, which regards the philosophy of the ‘recycling cycle’ as the only way to proceed if we want to preserve the environment and do our part to transform waste into a resource, thus minimising its environmental impact.
The idea of esosport is to give life to new projects using materials obtained from the process of recycling shoes, balls tennis, tyres or inner tubes of bicycles; the secondary raw material that is created through the processing can be used to create playground surfacing or as a base for athletics tracks.
To give concreteness and circularity to our initiative we created ‘Betty’s Garden’, a children’s playground dedicated to Elisabetta Salvioni Meletiou, the wife of Nicolas Meletiou who died prematurely, and ‘Pietro’s Track’, a 60-metre athletics track commemorating the great athlete Pietro Mennea, a project that personally involved his wife, Manuela Olivieri.
Through the GOGREEN – onlus Association our company gives to the civil services free of charge secondary raw materials obtained as a result of the collection and subsequent recycling of sports materials. To date, a great number of ‘Betty’s Gardens’ have already been created throughout Italy and we will soon be constructing our first ‘La pista di PIETRO’.
Those who choose to participate in the esosport initiative are not only choosing a service that can effectively deal with waste management problems – they are also seizing the opportunity to embrace a new eco-sustainable vision of sport and demonstrate their concern for the wellbeing of the society and the environment.