Finnish cities explore re-use potential of artificial grass

Helsinki and five other Finnish cities are exploring the use of artificial grass in the context of the circular economy.

The study, due to be completed in 2024, is gathering experiences on the reuse of artificial grass and surveying recycling solutions available in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

The national artificial grass study is a joint project of the cities of Espoo, Helsinki, Lahti, Oulu, Tampere and Vantaa.

Sustainability challenges

There are some 450 artificial grass fields in Finland, and the field materials are regularly replaced as they wear. There are currently no sustainable processing methods available for used artificial grass, particularly if it is in poor condition.

Challenges to the reuse of artificial grass materials include the many plastic grades used and the other components contained in the mats, such as rubber granules and sand. There is great need for sustainable operating models for the recycling of artificial grass.

In particular, the study will identify recycling solutions available in Europe, where specialised facilities already exist. More sustainable solutions to promote the circular economy of artificial grass in Finland are also hoped for.

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