End of Life Statement for Synthetic Turf Sports Surfaces
Prepared by The Environmental Working Group
The use of synthetic turf has grown dramatically since the year 2000 and is now used across the globe in a wide variety of sports, landscaping and leisure applications. Over 150 million m2 of synthetic turf were laid globally in 2016 and that market growth has already returned to pre-recession levels.
Since synthetic turf sports surfaces have a finite life, they eventually need to be replaced. It has been estimated that 98% of all synthetic turf sports surfaces will be replaced with another synthetic turf field. It is very rare for an old synthetic turf surface to be returned to natural turf, except in very special circumstances.
This growing amount of turf that has reached the end of its life needs to be managed responsibly, as it is classified as waste and it is a criminal offence in many parts of the globe to lift, transport and store used synthetic turf without a waste licence!
This summary report aims to provide some background and insight into the issues surrounding end of life synthetic turf and to offer guidance to the various interested parties on how best to handle synthetic turf at the end of its useful life.