PFAS-coated clothes that are thrown away will often end up either incinerated or in landfill. Unless incinerated at very high temperatures (>1000oC), fluorinated polymers could release more harmful PFAS during burning. PFAS of environmental concern have also been found in landfill leachate. PFAS is found in treated waste water from industrial and domestic sources and has been found in both rivers and groundwater. Conventional drinking water processes will not remove PFAS.Small quantities of PFAS will be removed during wash and wear of products containing PFAS. This includes fluorinated polymers used on stain-resistant coatings, and non-polymers that remain on clothes after production (Lassen et al. 2015).Non-polymer PFAS can build up in blood protein of animals, and is not always removed quickly. This means that predators eating PFAS-contaminated food will have higher levels in their bloodstream, and concentrations can increase up the food chain. Studies suggest that build up of PFAS is similar to those of other Persistent Organic Pollutants such as DDT.PFAS are estimated to be settling in arctic regions at rates of tens to hundreds of kilograms per year (25-850kg per year), depending on the specific PFAS chemical in question. Certain PFAS are released as gases to the environment and are blown a long way by wind and air currents in the atmosphere,. These gas PFAS will over time degrade to more persistent chemicals like PFOS and PFOA. This may be one reason why PFAS of environmental concern have been found in remote regions such as the Arctic as well as near PFAS production sitesPFAS including PFOS and PFOA have been found in air samples around Europe. The chemicals are found in small quantities, but appear in almost all samples tested. PFAS enters the atmosphere both from factories and the air inside our homes. Non-polymer PFAS are used in the production of fluorinated polymers. The manufacture of stain-resistant finishes generally releases these PFASs into the environment, both by air and water emissions. They are very hard to remove during water treatment. Workers in textiles factories are some of the population most exposed to these potentially harmful chemicals.

Our Guidelines for Cleaner Pitches

By making a few simple changes to the way in which pitches are designed, built, maintained and used we can work together to reduce their impact on the environment! That’s why we have created a set of simple guidelines, describing some of the small changes you can make to help stop the flow of microplastics from the pitch into the ocean.

By following these guidelines, you can keep the rubber crumb on the pitch where it belongs. Not only do these small steps help the environment, but they could save pitch owners money and even improve the quality of your playing surface.

How does the guide work?


Everyone involved with artificial pitches can play an important role in making your pitch more environmentally friendly. However, the practical steps you can take will depend largely on your role.  For this reason, we have split our guide into 3 parts. Click on the appropriate link to download your very own pdf copy of the guide:

These guidelines have been collated by Fidra and KIMO International, using expert advice from industry and feedback from sites in Sweden, Norway and Denmark where trials are already underway.

We are constantly striving to improve these documents, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further suggestions or insights into reducing microplastic loss from pitches.

Get Involved

Join our Pitch In community to find out how you can help to tackle microplastic loss from pitches.

Microplastic Action Plan

Do you own or manage a pitch? Try our online tool to create a bespoke microplastic action plan for your pitch.