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.
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Practical resources for the 3G pitch industry and decision-makers.

Industry Action

From contractors to local authorities, find out what you could be doing to help reduce microplastic pollution within your work.

Do you own or manage a pitch? Sign our Code of Conduct

Put together with local authorities and other pitch owners in mind, this code of conduct sets out key commitments to ensure that microplastic mitigation is considered at any stage of owning a pitch, from procurement to end of life.

By signing and returning this document to us, you are showing that your pitch is committed to tackling microplastic pollution.

Briefing for Local Authorities & Pitch Owners

We have created a briefing to help Local Authorities find out more about microplastic pollution from 3G pitches and how they can help with solutions. Download our briefing to find out more.

This briefing has been created with Scottish local authorities in mind but can be used by any decision makers wanting to understand more about the issue.

Cleaner Pitch Guidelines

Our guidelines to stop microplastic pollution from 3G pitches has information for pitch designers, users and owners, outlining the key changes that can be made to stop the flow of microplastics from pitch to environment.

Whether you are a member of a community trust looking to install a 3G pitch or a contractor working on pitch construction, these guidelines have been designed to help you make the right decisions to stop microplastic pollution from 3G pitches.

Case Studies

Through our work with industry and communities we have been gaining insights into how preventing microplastic pollution works in practice. We are now developing case studies to show where preventative measures have been introduced.

Are you already working on stopping microplastic pollution from your pitch? Are you using alternative infills or an infill-free surface? Share your story and help others become part of the solution e-mail us at