At the start of GreenMatter, the picnic table was a great start to get a circular resource stream moving.
Many artificial turf pitches have been installed since the turn of the millennium, but too little thought has been given to how to deal with those to be replaced. What about disposal, waste flow, recycling of fibres, backing and infill? Anno 2023 shows that recycling artificial grass in a responsible and circular way is indeed possible!
We joined forces with Lankhorst Engineered Products in 2020 in the joint venture GreenMatter. We took the lead in reusing raw materials from worn-out artificial grass pitches by offering new recycled solutions for on and around the sports field. One of our first solutions was the picnic table, which we would therefore like to highlight.
The picnic table is literally and figuratively green. Recycling artificial grass produces a beautiful dark green colour. Not only the dark green colour is recognisable, but also the footprint and lifespan. In fact, using recycled materials delivers environmental benefits. According to CE Delft, using mechanically recycled plastic produces a CO2 gain of 2.6 to 4.6 kilos (depending on the type of plastic) per kilogram of recycled plastic used.
The lifespan of an artificial grass pitch is around 10 years and this picnic table has an expected technical lifespan of 50 years. The first GreenMatter picnic tables have been around for 3 years now, so they still have a great life ahead of them. At the end of their lifespan, they are 100% recyclable again. You can then choose to give the picnic table new life or go for another (seating) solution.
Picnic tables can be found everywhere. They are suitable for public spaces, sports grounds, offices or schools. We also have a wheelchair-friendly variant, so that someone in a wheelchair can sit at it easily. Despite being one of our first solutions, it is still a runner. It brings people together and there is still a lot of need for that.
For example, Sportbedrijf Rotterdam donates a green picnic table for the terrace to every club that replaces an artificial grass pitch. This way, the worn-out artificial grass pitch returns to the sports park. A great example of how the municipality demonstrates and makes its sustainability tangible.
At the start of GreenMatter, the picnic table was a great start to get a circular raw material stream moving. Given the number of artificial grass pitches (200) that are replaced on average every year, there is still plenty of work to be done to keep this raw material flow moving. GreenMatter has therefore not been idle in recent years and has considerably expanded the solutions in its delivery programme. We are also currently testing new products to reduce the artificial grass waste mountain not only as a necessity, but more importantly in a meaningful way.
Recycle the present, save the future.