Playtop has, for more than 40 years, invited and inspired customers to participate in our mission towards protecting our planet through responsible recycling

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Playtop History

“This will come in handy” said Charles when he stopped on the French motorway to pick up a piece of cardboard laying at the side of the road...

Since 1977, Playtop has as a successful, World class and fully integrated state of the art tyre recycler, been transforming truck and bus tyres from an environmental landfill hazard into usable, sustainable and durable surfacing products, and has over five decades continued to revolutionise the industry.

In 1975, Charles Lawrence and his nephew Nigel Allen were on their way to France to do a tennis court installation, a business that had only just started which should turn out to be the beginning of a life’s work for Charles, founder of Charles Lawrence Group part of which is today known as Playtop Licensing Limited.

Charles was and still is a man who liked to make the best use of things and if possible recycle them. He would always insist not to throw away things for no reason when they could be converted into valuable assets, and as predicted the piece of cardboard ended up serving as floor protection on the worksite.

It was this mentality combined with courage and entrepreneurship that lead Charles to create what quickly became one of Europe’s leading tyre recycling facilities.

The very first base layer for a Playtop surface made from recycled tyres was installed in 1977 and ever since then Playtop, the company, has pioneered in the creation of wet-pour rubber surfaces and is today the World’s leading safety surfacing system provider.

Since the creation of the recycling plant, which has been created by our inhouse team of engineers, Playtop and its sister company has completely recycled an estimated 380,000 tonnes of truck and bus tyres and effectively removed these from the waste stream.

Today, the plant recycles approximately 20,000 tonnes of truck and bus tyres per year and due to our high environmental and safety standards, only and exclusively whole European truck and bus casings conforming to PAS107 Quality Protocol are accepted for recycling.

The process takes in end of life casings, which are whole tyres that are legally non-compliant to be fitted on vehicle and/or the wear is to such a degree that they cannot be re-treaded to form another tyre. The process is ambient size reduction, reducing the whole casing to its constituent parts, namely – rubber granulate, steel wire and a small percentage of textile. No part of the tyre goes to landfill and there is no heat within the process. 

In 2008, Playtop and Nike established a partnership which gave Playtop global rights to incorporate rubber granules from Nike recycled trainers and shoe manufacturing left overs into our EPDM, under the name Playtop with Nike Grind. 

The Playtop with Nike Grind system on average contains the equivalent to 20 pairs of recycled sport shoes and is not only an environmental friendly and sustainable product, but also our flagship when it comes to educating customers on a global level that responsible purchasing behaviour will help us achieve our mission towards getting closer to a zero waste future.

Throughout the years Playtop has maintained its market leading position by continually upgrading the technical performance whilst finding ways of remaining competitive without compromising safety, environment or quality.

Over the same period, the company has built up an international network of 40 licensee partners who now market and install the Playtop system in over 60 countries around the world.

Playtop Licensing Limited is owned by the Serafin Group.