Hilltop Nurseries, 
Clacton Road, Weeley, 
Essex, CO16 9DN
01255 830325

September 11, 2022

Is artificial turf recyclable?

We often get questions about the environmental impact of artificial grass, and are doing our best here to provide those looking for turf in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire with unbiased facts. Of course, as 40+ year old turf growers in the South East, we are huge advocates for natural turf, and also go out of our way to make our turf growing process as eco-friendly as possible.

A commonly asked question is, is artificial grass recyclable?

Some artificial grass providers say that their turf can be recycled, and indeed they can. However – and this is a BIG however – they can only be recycled at very specialist plants in Europe and it is doubtful that most buyers would be able to ship their artificial lawn to these plants. Instead, fake grass is likely to end up in landfill where it will take thousands of years to degrade.

Unlike real grass, which is self-sustaining, artificial grass is generally sold as lasting 5 – 20 years, however it often doesn’t last that long as it can quickly get old and tired looking, can shed as it gets used, and wear and tear over time can make fake grass unattractive. This physical and chemical degradation can contribute to microplastics in the environment.

The synthetic chemicals used in artificial grass are also subject of growing concerns of its impact on human health and the ecosystem. Carcinogens have been reported in artificial grass used on sports fields, and is the subject of investigation by the EU. The EU is also considering banning intentionally added microplastics. These products aren’t the ones sold to homeowners, however fake pitches are sometimes reused for landscaping.

Overall, fake grass offers none of the environmental benefits of real grass – like home for insects, soaking up moisture, self-sustaining, feeding birds – and its longevity isn’t that long.  Once it get trampled on and begins to shed, it looks poor, unlike real turf which can be reseeded or relaid easily. Instead, artificial grass has to be rolled up, lifted and shipped to landfill.

If you’re looking for real turf, we deliver premium quality turf to Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Get in touch with us now. We don't use plastic in our growing process - unlike many major turf growers - and use only minimal plastic wrap in our devlieries.

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