Posts tagged ‘plastics’

Natural grass or Synthetic turf? What are the total life cycle emission profiles

Total life cycle analysis of synthetic turf GHG emissions

A local residents campaign in Moreland over conversion of a sporting oval in Hosken Reserve from natural grass to synthetic turf has stimulated debate on the impacts of supporting a fossil-fuel/plastics industry product for organised Sport and Recreation. Although there are many impacts of an oval conversion, the issue that concerns us greatly in Climate Action Moreland are the greenhouse gas emissions. We do have a climate emergency, which has been declared by Council in 2018.

A 2006 Canadian total life cycle emissions study found that a 9000m2 grass pitch would have a 10 year baseline carbon negative impact of minus 16.9 tonnes CO2e while the synthetic turf would generate 55.6 tonnes CO2e (Note: this study assumed -53t Co2e saving at end of life with full recycling – this would not occurr in Australia with most materials going to landfill). A 2017 Swedish total life cycle emissions study on a modelled 7881m2 synthetic field concluded GHG emissions would be 527 ton CO2e for a ten year period.

Update: A deeper reading of the 2017 consultants report to FIFA revealed that total life cycle emissions for a standard FIFA sized pitch may be up to 1500 tonnes CO2e. This comes from examining a graph of total life cycle green house gas emissions for synthetic turf with various infill and various end of life disposal in the report.
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February 28, 2021 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment


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