TS prepares WG

Groundworks for a PEFCR Working Group have been laid, with the ESTC Technical Secretariat having finished the first phase of the project.

The Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) project was initiated by the European Commission last year. It aims to establish official Life Cycle Assessment procedures for industry sectors. Following a thorough application process, the EU decided to cover synthetic turf in the project. ESTC was selected to represent the synthetic turf industry among four other industries.

Earlier this year, ESTC, in accordance with the rules set by the European Commission, established a Technical Secretariat (TS). With the assistance of specialised consultants, the TS will coordinate the process for establishing and testing an LCA for the synthetic turf industry. It is anticipated that this will take two years.

The TC has now compiled a list of the materials and processes that ESTC will ask the European Commission to provide. These secondary data sets are intended for use in the PEFCR. Items on the list range from the basic polymers used for the production of yarn, to end-of-use disposal of synthetic turf surfaces. Secondary data sets define the LCA or environmental impact values attributed to each material and process used throughout the life of a synthetic turf product. Providing these datasets ensure that all companies use the same values when calculating the LCA for their specific product. When a secondary data set is not provided it is the responsibility of the company undertaking the LCA to determine the value (in a defined way). The more that the EC is able to provide, the simpler it will be for the members in the future.

Establishing Working Group

The work of the PEFCR Technical Secretariat is one of a number of ESTC’s active projects. To ensure members are kept informed, an Environmental Regulation Working Group is being established. ESTC members are now invited to express their interest in participating in this working group by sending an email to info@estc.info.

Working groups form the heart of our organisation. The combined knowledge and experience of participants go a long way to guide the drafting of, or establishing of, guidelines and protocols that can make a difference. Recent achievements include the production of the ‘ESTC Performance Guide for Shock Pads’ as well as the ‘ESTC Quality Guide for Landscaping Turf’. Both documents serve as important tools for establishing the quality of synthetic turf components. ESTC also played an important role in the drafting of the guidance on how to minimise infill dispersion into the environment. This document is currently being reviewed by the European Standards Committee (CEN). Once published it will be compulsory for the market in Europe to consider the various measures to minimise infill dispersion that are proposed in this document before realising a synthetic turf field fitted with the relevant solutions.

The ESTC Environmental Regulation Working Group will play an essential role for the future of synthetic turf. It will help ESTC lobby to ensure that the increasing desire to regulate our industry does not become unnecessarily onerous or create major market difficulties.