As soon as an artificial turf sports pitch is replaced at the end of its life cycle, components can be brought back into the chain in the form of new circular raw materials. First of all, the end-of-life artificial turf pitches are removed and rolled up into artificial turf rolls for transport. These are then transported to a processing plant for recycling into reusable raw materials. During processing, the various materials of the artificial turf are processed, separated, cleaned and recycled. This creates different types of reusable raw materials, including sand, infill and recycled artificial turf.
The sand is separated, sieved and cleaned. From an environmental point of view, the sand must meet the highest standard (class AW) in accordance with the Soil Quality Decree (Besluit Bodemkwaliteit) and from a sports technical point of view, the sand must meet the NOC NSF M4a standard, so that it can be used in new sports fields as a circular sand infill or for other civil or infrastructure purposes.
The infill of artificial turf pitches is mostly SBR rubber granulate, but TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and natural infill material such as cork also occur. The infill can be reused as a clean raw material after the recycling process or the material is used as a circular raw material for various products. Think of rubber tiles, water retention panels, etc.
After the artificial grass fibres have been separated from the other raw materials, the artificial grass is converted into agglomerate. This means that the raw material is heated and compressed into small granules. Various products can be made from this agglomerate. In order to be able to make high-quality products, such as thin-walled products, a high-quality processing and recycling process is important so that as little pollution as possible occurs in the agglomerate. Too much sand, for example, can be harmful to the machines that produce new products from the agglomerate. The artificial grass agglomerate is not a standard reusable raw material and if it is not set in motion, waste will still be generated. Therefore, GreenMatter has been the first to offer various circular solutions in the field of artificial turf. The recycled artificial grass agglomerate forms the basis for the production of the GreenMatter products. The range of new GreenMatter products is growing rapidly and varies from picnic tables and park benches to shore sheeting and edge boards. In cooperation with our clients we are always looking for new applications to bring back as many end-of-life artificial grass pitches as possible in new circular products. In order to avoid waste, it is necessary that clients consciously choose recycled and circular products so that the circle can be completed.
Raw materials policy must be 50% circular by 2030 and 100% circular by 2050. This is why more and more municipalities are taking control of their own waste. It is now known that, in addition to recycling, responsibility does not end and that recycled raw materials must find their way round in a circular fashion. GreenMatter’s vision for the future is to return old worn out artificial grass pitches to the (sports) environment completely recycled.
The GreenMatter is manufactured using the services of a social work company, namely: Empatec. In this way we offer meaningful work to employees who are distanced from the labour market.
After manufacture, our products are provided with a reach statement and a raw materials declaration. In this way we can give our clients even more certainty about the origin and processing of the raw materials and the impact on people and the environment. In order to offer even more certainty we also comply with the following certificates ISO 9001: Quality Certificate, ISO 14001: Environment Certificate and the OHSAS 18001: Safety Certificate with the production of GreenMatter products. GreenMatter products are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan.