Synthetic turf continues to gain popularity worldwide due to its low maintenance and all year playability. The weather no longer controls when one plays the game.
The introduction of 3G pitch technology generated a wave of new synthetic turf installations within the contact sports industry late 1990’s; soccer in particular.
Installations worldwide have continued to increase each year during the past 15 years. The GFC did not have a serious impact on the number of pitches being installed albeit the double-digit annual growth seen in the years 2000-2007 was cut in half from 2009 onwards.
In 2009 the industry experienced excess capacity (yarn and turf production) with fast rising Chinese producers emerging and an industry that consolidated, with existing players integrating vertically.
A total of 33,000 synthetic pitches are today being used for contact sports games worldwide. In the US alone, some 11.000 synthetic turf pitches are installed and the number of pitches being deconstructed has risen exponentially since 2012; growing 300+% to 950 pitches in 2015.
4.200 full size pitches, equal to some 1,000,000 tons of waste and 30m M2, will need to be removed in 2017 in EMEA alone.
The success of the industry has also created future challenges for the turf industry, as well as for the environment.