Artificial turf at Hawker Football Centre

The Hawker Football Centre’s website states that “it was converted from grass fields to synthetic fields thanks to help from the ACT Government in 2009. Nine years later, Hawker was refurbished with nearly five tons of new rubber to provide a more stable and even surface for users. The refurbishment also involved cleaning the turf and ‘standing-up’ of the turf fibres.”

According to Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, urban heat expert at Western Sydney University, “artificial turf is made of microplastics thought to break down and end up in waterways. It smothers and probably destroys the composition of the soil it is laid on, it conducts heat which is thought to change the microclimate of suburbs and, ultimately, it ends up in landfill.

“Of course, artificial turf itself is made from crude oil, so you need to extract fossil fuels to then produce the plastic that you need for making artificial turf.” “Where natural lawn would transpire when wet and have a cooling effect, artificial turf was usually lined with black webbing, meaning it can reach a surface temperature of up to 100 degrees in summer.”


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