Our first experience with artificial grass in commercial and domestic settings dates back decades, which was before people were concerned about things like recycling. Despite being possible, recycling was just not something that was done in those days. People threw away their takeaways and fizzy drinks without thinking about the effects on the environment, so no consideration was given to everyday items, and especially their front lawns!
In spite of recycling other items becoming the norm, artificial grass was not being recycled, which is why homeowners may not even have known that the grass could be recycled. Thus, when artificial grass is no longer useful, it is almost always thrown into landfills at the end of its life. Our experience has taught us that this no longer has to be the case, and now fake grass as an alternative option that is even more eco-friendly.
What Is The Lifespan Of Artificial grass?
If artificial grass is installed in a domestic property, it can last for a couple of decades or even longer! Installing and maintaining this system, however, would be necessary. In addition, fake grass used in sports fields at schools or in the community poses a very big threat to landfill overflow since astro turf lasts about 10 years. So, in order to protect the environment, these fields must also be made of recycled or repurposed fake grass.
It’s Difficult To Recycle Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is largely made of plastic compounds such as PVC, plastic fibres, silicone, and polyurethane, which can easily be recycled, but it also includes infill. Artificial grass can be tricky to distinguish from recyclable elements since infill materials, such as sand, are used for tufting. A variety of substances create synthetic turf. The challenge lies in isolating these resources, so they can be reused properly. So, there is less environmental impact (and less cost) from the disposal of fake grass into landfills than recycling real grass. Many people are sceptical of the idea of recycling artificial grass due to its implications, however it is 100% possible.
Repurposing Artificial Grass
As discussed, fabricated gardens generally last for up to 20 years in residential settings, but astroturf sports fields that see heavy use usually only last for about ten years. With ten years of use, the existing field turf may be time for a replacement with new manufactured field turf; however, the grass to be removed may still be useful in other ways. In spite of the fact that there is currently an opportunity to recycle the turf, it would probably be more beneficial to repurpose the turf elsewhere, and then recycle it once its useful life has ended. Artificial grass can be used in a wide range of different places, such as playgrounds, animal shelters, driving ranges, and even indoor gyms!
The burning of artificial grass to generate electricity is another ‘last resort’ for repurposing it. This process can be beneficial in that it allows for materials to be reused in the production of energy, but the emissions are also produced, and it is not the most efficient method of repurposing artificial turf materials. The reason to highlight this strategy is that it is being implemented, but there should be other options explored first.
Recycling Artificial Grass Is The Future
It’s fortunate we have a promising horizon when it comes to recycling artificial grass. Technological advancements, both in the creation and recycling industries, are helping to expand the opportunities for recycling artificial turf materials, as well as infill materials and base substrates.
So what are you waiting for? In the event that you would like to discard and replace artificial grass, instead of simply throwing it in the rubbish bin, consider recycling it. The repurposing of artificial grass might be the alternative if the waste cannot be properly recycled; however, it is important to know that repurposing does not equal recycling.