FOR A SUSTAINABLE ROMP:
The first compostable inflatable by Playcircular
How it all began
Once upon a time, there was a small virus called Covid-19, which turned the event industry completely upside down in 2020.
Although we all have colourful personalities, we don’t have a head-in-the-sand mentality, so we buoyantly turned our attention to new ideas.
Time for a burst of courage
Speaking of animals:
Regarding sustainability and traceability, our inflatables are pretty black sheep.
Although we pay attention to a long service life and good quality, they still end up on the rubbish dump after use. Does that have to be the case? We don’t think so.
The topic of a “compostable bouncy castle”, which had been floating around in our heads for a long time, became a concrete concept for the first time.
With all the ups and downs, back flips and forward jumps that a bouncy castle project naturally entails.
2020 beginning of May
Our grey cells are running at full speed: How can a compostable bouncy castle be made possible?
First the idea, then the search – for suitable materials, for alternatives to the current offers and potential implementation partners.
Research, what materials would be suitable for a compostable inflatable, what materials are actually used for conventional inflatables, what alternatives are there?
2020 End of May
No broken legs, but a slight sprain – that sums up the first round in our imaginary bouncy castle. The response to our project ranged from “certainly not feasible” to “not so environmentally harmful anyway due to its longevity”. All the more reason for us to become even more involved.
2020 June - July
Many, many conversations, many questions and a few open answers with Mr. Zimmermann from Naku. For example: How do I get the bioplastic to be weather-resistant, elastic, air-impermeable and “hoppable”?
A biological, compostable carrier material is the solution. And the search continues…
Suddenly wind, or rather air, comes into the matter punctually for the onset of summer. We come one step closer towards our goal with the company Schirmer, manufacturer of inflatable boats and at the same time producer of organic cotton.
Next step: Who can combine the bioplastic with the organic cotton? Our long-time partner and inflatable manufacturer VIV may be able to help us with this…
More conversations, more emails, we are close to the prototype….
And suddenly we are deflated: Our bouncy castle manufacturer VIV wants to devote itself to another line of business in the future and is not interested in a cooperation. Get up, straighten the crown, move on was our motto.
2020 November - December
The next setback: apparently there is no one in Austria or Germany who can combine the two materials. Give up? No way!
We decide to knock on VIV’s door again and since they still have the machines, they get on board…JUHHUUUU!
Our persistence is rewarded:
The first team meeting in the new year once again faces all the difficulties: e.g.: cotton is too heavy, maybe a lighter material is necessary; how do I get the bioplastic onto the backing material, etc. Our team spirit keeps us smouldering, and the organic tea from the kitchen is a significant help. We find a competent partner with the coating company E.J. Kluth GmbH & CO KG. At long last, someone who gets the LAYERS right!!!
We are feverishly fiddling around: How do we get the material right?
A milestone: We hold the first samples in our hands…
…and soon the first larger samples are produced.
Sample material is shipped…
The first burning test is a bit sobering, (even though it smelled wonderful – a bit like popcorn!) there is still need for further development…nevertheless we are burning for this project and we carry on! Of course, we will keep you up to date!
DO YOU WANT TO WRITE GREEN BOUNCY CASTLE HISTORY TOGETHER WITH US?
Please feel free to contact us by phone or contact form!