ESTC environmental activities taking shape

ESTC has formed two new Working Groups that will each focus on specific aspects of the environment.

The End-of-Use Working Group will focus solely on all aspects related to synthetic turf that will no longer be of use to its original owner. It will discuss and work on documentation related to the correct removal and disposal procedures of synthetic turf products. Eric O’Donnell of Sports Labs has volunteerd to chair this Working Group.

The second newly formed Working Group will focus on drafting the category rules for the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) of synthetic turf.

As communicated before, following a thorough application process, ESTC has been selected as representative of one of 5 industries to participate in the project initiated by the European Commission. This working group will also handle all issues related to microplastics. Colin Young of the TenCate Grass Group has volunteered to chair the PEF CR & Microplastics Working Group. He will be assisted by a Technical Secretariat who will represent the synthetic turf industry in the PEF CR project from the European Union. Furthermore, ESTC has selected the consultant Pré to assist us in understanding the technical requirements and guiding us through all paperwork associated with the project.

EC will welcome ESTC PEF input

The European Commissions has responded positively to the ESTC proposal to help draft the Product Environmental Footprint regulation on synthetic turf.

An ESTC delegation presented the proposal to the EU in mid-September.

“Convincing the EC that drafting a Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) regulation for synthetic turf is essential and is a big achievement as we were competing for this recognition with several other industries. In most cases, the turnover and number of products these industries represented were higher than those we tabled. Nevertheless, we managed to convince the EU of the importance of synthetic turf by pointing out the positive contributions it makes to society,” says ESTC Director General Stefan Diderich.

The recognition is only the first step. “With our proposal accepted, we now have to establish a taskforce that will spearhead the drafting of the document. We also have to secure the funding for this project. Therefore, we call on our members and the industry to reconsider their involvement in the industry by jumping at this opportunity to actively make things happen.”

Changing attitude
Without taking anything from the delegation who presented the proposal, the ESTC is also sensing a changing attitude. “Our vocal response in the debate about PAHs or microplastics, as well as our proactive approach towards institutions like the EU, FIFA, FIH or World Rugby, haven’t gone unnoticed. FIFA has already embraced the ESTC as being the representative for the synthetic turf industry and the positive response from the EU shows that they too see and understand our significance.”

People and companies keen to get involved in the drafting of the document can visit the ESTC stand during the upcoming FSB event. This event will take place from 5 November to 8 November at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The ESTC stand will be located in Hall 10.2, A24.

“We will also host a teleconference early next year to update our members. Obviously, the PEF will also be on the agenda for our conference in Nice on 1 and 2 April 2020.”

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