The EMEA Synthetic Turf Council (ESTC) has compiled a poster that illustrates 10 key points to maximise infill containment on third-generation synthetic turf fields. The poster can assist field owners and maintenance crews in identifying possible improvements they can make to reduce the environmental footprint of their field.
The illustration draws from the same input as ESTC provided for the CEN TR 17519: Guidance on How to Minimise Infill Dispersion into the Environment technical report. This report has become the norm for authorities like FIFA, World Rugby, FIH, the Rugby Football League and the Gaelic Athletics Association, in considering ways to mitigate the possible impact of a third-generation synthetic turf field. Independent studies have demonstrated that the specific recommended measures addressed in the report can reduce infill migration from a field by up to 98%.
“Over the last couple of years, concerns have been raised about synthetic turf fields containing rubber or plastic infill having the potential to pollute their surrounding environment. ESTC agrees this is not acceptable. As it is our collective duty to protect the environment from any possible pollution, this poster raises awareness to solutions that can be considered to prevent infill dispersion,” says ESTC Director General Stefan Diderich.
The effectiveness of the various solutions has been demonstrated by independent Swedish environmental consultancy firm Ecoloop. They concluded that dedicating maintenance equipment to a field could see infill dispersion being reduced to 215 kg per year while the fitting of barriers around the field would prevent the dispersion of another 131 kg infill per year. Placing boot cleaning stations near the exit of the field would help capture 79 kg infill per year while cleaning maintenance equipment once it leaves the field would help keep 18 kg infill in the field every year. Fitting filters to drains would also capture approximately 15 kg infill per year.
Diderich adds: “Collectively these risk management measures can help reduce infill release into the environment to 2g/m2. This is well below the 7mg/m2 threshold that had been proposed by the authorities. Therefore, we urge all field owners and maintenance companies to ensure a field is compliant by adopting the solutions covered in the illustration.”
Both the illustration and an exexcutive summary of the Ecoloop report are available for download here