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New life for artificial turf in US

Global manufacturer, distributor and installer of synthetic turf TenCate Grass is launching a programme in the US to recycle its end-of-life products.

TenCate Turf Recycling Solutions will kick off by sending 50 fields from high schools and college campuses to a southern California facility to be shredded. The shredded turf will then be taken to Texas where Cyclyx International will process the material further before sending it to ExxonMobil’s Baytown chemical recycling facility. The partners say the intention is to solve a problem that has challenged the industry for years: how to recycle synthetic turf into feedstock that can be used to create new turf and other valuable products.   

‘At TenCate, we are committed to leading the industry and moving sustainability forward in a meaningful way,’ says Joe Fields, president and ceo of TenCate Grass Americas. ‘We understand the issue of end-of-life synthetic turf and we have taken it upon ourselves to find a true solution for the entire industry. Our goal is to keep turf out of landfills and put it back to use.’

In addition to boosting circularity, ExxonMobil says its advanced recycling technology delivers lower GHG emissions when compared to processing fossil fuel feedstocks.
‘Our advanced recycling technology has already processed millions of pounds of otherwise difficult-to-recycle plastics like food packaging and artificial turf that are generally not recycled today,’ adds Dave Andrew, vp new market development at ExxonMobil. ‘With our scalable technology and collaborations like this one alongside TenCate Grass and Cyclyx, we are helping to meet the growing demand for circular products.’

In the Netherlands, where its company headquarters are located, TenCate recycles its end-of-life turf into Ecocept, an elastic layer in sports fields, and third parties also use the agglomerated material to manufacture new products.  
In December 2021, Danish manufacturer Re-Match announced plans for an EUR 8.5 million recycling facility for artificial turf in Pennsylvania, its first outside Europe. When operational, the factory is due to process more than 60 000 tonnes of end-of-life material by mechanical recycling.

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