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Turf + Microplastics: Not all turf types are created equal

In your search for low-maintenance, eco-friendly landscaping solutions, you may be concerned about the environmental impact of artificial turf, given that it’s made of plastic materials.

Artificial turf is typically made of polyethylene or polypropylene. During the production and installation of the turf, small plastic particles known as microplastics may be released. However, the presence of microplastics in artificial turf can vary depending on the specific type of turf and installation methods used.

We use a polyurethane backing, which is a better option for artificial turf because it provides strength, resilience, waterproofing, and improved drainage. Additionally, it doesn’t leach chemicals into the environment.

According to some studies, artificial turf can release microplastics into the environment through wear and tear over time or from exposure to UV radiation. Be aware that not all types of artificial turf are created equal. While some types of artificial turf may release microplastics into the environment, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate this issue, and eco-friendly options are becoming increasingly available. It's important to do your research and choose turf options that are environmentally responsible and sustainable.

At Tuffy’s, the artificial turf we use is heat and frost resistant, and UV stabilized – incorporating a UV coating and reflective pigments designed to keep it cool during the summer and to slow fading over its lifetime. We also use alternative materials such as natural fibers or recycled materials to create more eco-friendly turf options. For example, we use TPE-coated sand which is processed and treated with an elastomeric or acrylic coating to help the turf feel cool underfoot and give it a natural appearance. And, this antimicrobial coating is ideal for applications where pet waste is a concern.

We also use an organic infill, which is sourced from cork, walnut shells, or coconut husks. This type of infill also reduces the surface temperature and can break down more easily than other options.

Additionally, proper maintenance of artificial turf can also help reduce the release of microplastics. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent the buildup of dirt and debris, which can contribute to the breakdown of the turf and the release of microplastics.

While artificial turf is made of plastic, many manufacturers are now using recycled materials to create their products. This helps reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or polluting the environment. Additionally, some types of artificial turf can be recycled at the end of their lifespan, further reducing waste and minimizing the environmental impact.

The last thing to consider is that artificial turf can help reduce carbon emissions by eliminating the need for gas-powered lawn mowers and other maintenance equipment. These machines contribute to air pollution and climate change, and by using artificial turf, homeowners can help reduce their carbon footprint and promote a healthier environment.

While artificial turf is made of plastic, it’s still an environmentally friendly choice when you’re looking for a low-maintenance, durable, and eco-friendly landscaping solution that gives you the rich look of real grass.

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