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.

Help Pitch In and tackle microplastic pollution from pitches.

If you have ever played on a 3G pitch, you will most likely know about the unavoidable tiny black granules that cling to your socks, clothes, shoes and kit.

If you look closely, they can easily be seen outside of most pitches too. Along the pathways, the car park, in the grass and soil nearby. These black granules are microplastic and can make their way off the pitch via several pathways. Once in the environment, microplastics are hard to clean up and will persist for hundreds of years like any other plastic pollution, causing problems for wildlife and ecosystems.

This is why we have created a number of ways you can get involved to help tackle this problem head on. Explore this page to find out how you can be part of the solution.

Sign our Pitch In Pledge

Join us in calling for action to prevent microplastic pollution from 3G sports pitches

Who can sign?

Anyone can sign this pledge.

You can sign up as an industry representative, club, school, community group or individual. Just let us know who you represent on the form.

The ‘Pitch In Pledge’:

‘I am signing the Pitch In Pledge because I am concerned about microplastic pollution from 3G sports pitches. I want to see more done to prevent losses of microplastic to the environment and join the call for everyone from pitch designers to local football clubs to tackle microplastic loss from pitches. I pledge to take action to reduce microplastic. This means taking care to prevent spreading of microplastic when I use the pitch, and raising awareness with my wider pitch community.

Why are we asking people to sign our pledge?

We are asking you to sign our pledge to show support for this issue. It is critical that we can show that people across the UK care about this issue and want to see something done about it.

Your signature will build the profile of the issue and support our calls for changes to design, construction and management of 3G pitches.

Why are we asking people to sign our pledge?

Once you’ve signed the pledge, we’ll send you an e-mail to welcome you to team Pitch In! If you have asked for your pitch or club to be added to our map, we’ll add an icon to show you’re taking part.

Now take a look at our activities and resources to get involved…

Pitch In – Activities

We’ve created some fun activities that can be used to explore how much microplastic is lost from a local pitch.

These games have been developed with schools or youth groups in mind. They can be played as a class, football club, youth group or, individually.

The aim of these activities is to raise awareness of the issue and involve young people in understanding the problem.

Design your own poster!

If you haven’t already, why not try the Pitch In ‘Design a poster’ activity.

Use your creative talents and let you mind run free.  Why not design and create your very own poster? You could design it to help let people know that microplastic comes from 3G pitches or it could focus on what people can do to help. You can then put it up on your local pitch or in your school. Use our poster for inspiration if you are stuck. Check out our problem page for all the information you need to help you create the perfect poster.

When you’re finished, send your designed poster to with the subject ‘PITCH IN POSTER’ and we will make sure to put it up in an online gallery!

Remember to include your first name and your local town or club.

Share you poster with us on social media too, by tagging us on Twitter or Facebook using #PitchIn @fidratweets

Want to do more? Take action!

Although players can do their bit when leaving the pitch, there are other more effective ways tostop microplastic pollution. We could avoid using microplastic altogether. Or, where we do use microplastic,  putting barriers in place during pitch design and construction is the most effective. So, as well as shaking out your boots, you can help by calling on pitch owners and designers to make these big changes to pitch design and construction.

Let them know what action you want to see on your local pitch.

How can I do this?

Across the UK, the majority of pitches are owned by local authorities. So, if you haven’d already, sign the pledge above. Then, download our guidelines and send them to your local authority, outlining that you want to see mitigation measures at your local pitch. You can also let them know you’ve signed our pledge!

If the pitch you play on is privately owned, you can also send Fidra’s Pitch In guidelines to your local 3G pitch owners and managers. We compiled these guidelines to help pitch owners and local authorities make the right choice when it comes to mitigating against microplastic pollution from 3G artificial turf.

And, don’t worry if this is a little daunting, we are working on more resources to make this easier, so watch this space!

Photo credit: © LOA-Fonden, Rune Johansen.
Photo credit: © LOA-Fonden, Rune Johansen.
Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Pitch In Map

Have you signed our pledge? Have you downloaded our Pitch In Posters? Maybe you are doing something else to help combat microplastic pollution from your local 3G pitch?

Let us know! Add your details to our Pitch In map to share with the wider Pitch In community and help us promote your efforts.

This interactive map shows the clubs, community groups, schools and individuals who are taking part in our project to tackle microplastic lost from pitches. Why not click on an icon to find out what Team Pitch In has already achieved?

Add your own marker

Marker Title
Marker Address or GPS Location

Or click on the map and drag to add a marker

Marker Description
Marker Category
First Name
Last Name
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