• Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Recyclers are racing to the forefront

Reclaimed materials from synthetic turf systems are the new gold, which is why all over the world recycling initiatives are being rolled out to process end-of-life turf. While some have already been in operation for several years, others have just started, with more initiatives just around the corner.

According to the 2022 edition of the “Global Plastics Outlook” by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), only 9% of all international plastic waste is recycled. In contrast, the processing capacity of all European companies that are recognised as synthetic turf recyclers, will soon get close to at least half of the annual volume that is removed from projects on the continent. “Developing the recycling process was a challenge, but since we got up and running, it has become more a matter of fine-tuning the process,” Eric van Roekel of GBN-AGR in the Netherlands says. His company was established with the backing of TenCate Grass and Sport and Leisure Group and their associated brands and partners, as well as Edel Grass and its Dutch partner Antea Group. GBN-AGR uses a wet mechanical process and came online in 2020. Parallel to the increase in production, Van Roekel has witnessed a growing demand for the materials. “Ever since the Dutch norm for stabilizing sand for synthetic turf carpets was updated, the demand has been rising. And with TPE infill being very expensive, we have managed to sell a large volume to field owners all over Europe who just wanted to top up their field to extend its lifespan.” Recycled polymeric performance infill will help bridge the period once the sale of this type of product is banned from 2031 onwards.

This article appeared in the synthetic turf edition of Sportsfields.Magazine. Only subscribers can read the full text.

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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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