Monday 14th September 2020
BiteSSSize Best Practice Webinar Series Kicks Off!
Last week, SSS kicked off their webinar series for the new season, starting with a highly insightful webinar delivered in partnership with Fidra focussing on the environmental impact of synthetic artificial pitches. Find out more and watch the webinar back here!
SSS kicked-off their BiteSSSize Best Practice webinar series with the first webinar focussing on the environmental impact of artificial pitches and microplastics, delivered in partnership with Fidra.
On Friday 11th September, over 30 people tuned in to hear from various environmental experts who explained some of the negatives effects artificial pitches can have on our planet. Joining Madeleine Berg from Fidra on the webinar was Jerry Ahlstrom from KIMO International and Bjorn Aas from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Over the past 20 years, the number of artificial pitches across Scotland and the UK have increased. These pitches provide all-weather options for the likes of predominantly football, rugby and lacrosse teams to train all year round. A key component in the design of pitches is the microplastics used to provide a grass-like surface – often known as rubber crumb. From the webinar, participants learned that over the course of a year a single pitch can lose up to 500kg of rubber crumb – ensuing large financial costs and detrimental damage to the environment with the crumb often leaving the pitch and being flushed away into our seas and oceans.
To raise awareness of this issue Fidra have launched their Pitch In project. This project looks to educate communities and offer suggestions on ways to combat the environmental impact. They provide solutions to minimising the loss of microplastics such as wind barriers, boot brushes and drainage filters. These can be low-cost options that will reduce the volume of microplastics leaving the pitch which in turn reduces the cost of replacing them.
The webinar also looked at some of the more sustainable alternatives to the fibres and microplastics used in existing pitch technology, including coconut husk and cork as a base, and olive pits as the alternative crumb. The alternatives were more cost-effective, cheaper to maintain over time and are still of the appropriate standard to meet FIFA playing regulations.
While many pitch users prefer to play on grass, having access to artificial pitches can keep communities more active all year round. The webinar taught participants of the potential different ways to operate these pitches in a more environmentally friendly way.
Huge thanks to Madeleine, Jerry and Bjorn for delivering and everyone who tuned in.
Missed the event but want to find out more? You can rewatch the webinar in full here. 🎥👇BACK TO LIST