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Versalis joins project to develop recyclable synthetic grass for sporting applications

By Mary Page Bailey |

Versalis (San Donato Milanese, Italy; www.versalis.eni.com), RadiciGroup and Safitex have joined forces to make synthetic grass for sports fields recyclable in line with the principles of the circular economy. The project was presented today at Ecomondo and is the result of collaboration between Versalis, which supplies the raw material (polyethylene), RadiciGroup, a manufacturer of fibers for sport applications, and Safitex, a manufacturer of synthetic grass turf.

The project involves an all-Italian supply chain and is aimed at reinforcing the circularity of this application in order to reduce its end-of-life impact. Currently, synthetic grass turf is disposed of through landfill or incineration, which produces greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to the collaboration between these three Italian industrial leaders pursuing the path of “Made Green in Italy”, at the end of its life, synthetic grass turf can now be recycled like other plastics: it is collected, shredded and processed for other applications in the sports sector (shin guards, elbow pads and bibs) or for furnishings (vases, accessories and garden equipment).

In order to assess the project’s environmental performance, the three companies carried out a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), each for its own product, quantifying the environmental impact with scientific data and calculation rules valid in all European countries in a reliable and transparent manner. The results of the studies carried out on the polymer (Versalis), fibres (Radigreen by RadiciGroup) and turf (EcoNext by Safitex) have been verified by an independent certification body (Certiquality), which issued each with a Product Environmental Footprint (*PEF) certificate, a method recognised Europe-wide that allows the environmental performance of products to be measured throughout their entire life cycle.

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