• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

First ever biodegradable synthetic turf system

biodegradable synthetic turf
The first ever fully biodegradable synthetic turf field has been opened. The field was installed at E.H.S.’85 F.C. in Emmen, the Netherlands. The entire top layer, consisting of infill, yarn, backing and the coating, has been made from raw materials that will fully degrade when put in a composter. The system is the result of a call to the synthetic turf industry in 2018 by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) to develop more sustainable synthetic turf surfaces. “It is a remarkable achievement that we can already open a fully biodegradable synthetic turf pitch today,” Paul van der Kolk of Sportinnovator said, praising the achievements of the consortium that consisted of Senbis Polymer Innovations, Sweco, Edel Grass, Antea Sport and TenCate Grass. “Innovations usually have a lead time of seven years before they are fully embraced. Here you managed to do that in two and a half years.” Van der Kolk promised the many attendees at the field’s opening that he will lobby the government to add biodegradable synthetic turf to a list with products which entitle clubs to subsidies when investing in sustainable technology for sports facilities.

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Gerard Nijhoving, General Manager at Senbis Polymer Innovations, thanked the proactive attitude of E.H.S.’85. “When it became known that we wanted to install this field somewhere, Aaltje Bosma, who chairs the club, wrote me a long email to argue that the field should be installed at her club. E.H.S.’85 has many youth teams and wants to invest in the future in many ways.” In his speech, Nijhoving also urged municipalities to make good work of their promises for more sustainability. “At the moment, there is a lot of talk about the energy transition, where we say goodbye to fossil fuels and switch to more sustainable solutions. I believe that we also need to make a material transition: a switch to using materials that are more sustainable.”

International calling card

The Alderman for Environment and Sustainability, Sport, Recreation and Tourism in Emmen, Pascal Schrik, is very pleased with the latest sustainable addition to Emmen. “All Coca-Cola PET bottles and all caps for drinking bottles are already produced in Emmen, and now the first biodegradable synthetic turf field in the world has been added. Senbis Polymer Innovations really went out of their way to make this happen. We are very proud to be able to say that there is a lot of innovation taking place in Emmen.” Alderman Schrik called on his colleagues elsewhere to continue embracing innovations and to keep up with new ideas. “Development costs money and requires you to take responsibility.”

Guy Oldenkotte

Guy Oldenkotte is senior editor of sportsfields.info and has been covering the outdoor sportssurfaces market and industry since 2003

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