Incentive for Dutch clubs to prevent microplastic polution

From this year on, sports clubs in the Netherlands can apply for a subsidy for measures that prevent the spread of rubber granules from a synthetic turf field. The Dutch Ministry of Health will cover up to 30 percent of the costs for, for example, the construction of toe boards and the installation of clean-up facilities.
The decision follows a court ruling that fined Sportaal, the sports company of the municipality of Enschede, for environmental pollution by rubber granules. The granules ended up outside synthetic turf fields. The criminal court considered it a deliberate pollution, because not enough had been done to keep the grains out of nature.
In response to this ruling, CDA MP Maurits von Martels asked parliamentary questions. He was afraid sports clubs would be left to their own devices. But according to minister Stientje van Veldhoven of Milieu Wonen, clubs have sufficient opportunities to take measures to fulfill their obligations. Such as taking the measures for which they can apply for a subsidy.
Rubber no problem
In this way, the use of rubber granulate granules on a synthetic turf field is not problematic, according to Van Veldhoven. “Provided that the distribution of this material to the soil and surface water is prevented as much as possible.” According to her, sports clubs do not have to replace their synthetic turf pitches en masse.

Her ministry has recently allocated 1.5 million euros for the development of a recyclable synthetic turf field that uses no or organic infill material.

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