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Pitch In

3G artificial turf pitches are a source of microplastic pollution.

We have set up the Pitch In project to help stop this form of pollution.

What does my 3G pitch have to do with plastic pollution?


Every year thousands of tonnes of microplastic granules are lost to the environment from 3G artificial sports fields. But how and why?

Have you ever played on a 3G pitch? Have you ever spotted those little black rubber bits? The ones that stick to your shoes, cling to your kit and make a mess of your kit bag?

These black granules are synthetic rubber infill. They are added to a 3G field, to make the surface comfortable to play on. They help increase the bounce of the pitch, creating a more natural playing surface. These rubber granules are also classed as a microplastic. This is because they are a synthetic form of rubber, created by grinding up old car and truck tyres.

These little granules can escape the pitch easily. Being transported off the pitch by players after a game of football, being kicked off during play, blown, swept or washed off a pitch during bad weather and also brushed off during maintenance of the pitch. They can end up in the grass and verges surrounding a pitch. They can also be washed down drains and into rivers, eventually even ending up in the sea. Just like other plastic litter they can harm wildlife and the environment.

What can I do?


Take part in the Pitch In project!

Luckily there are a few simple ways you can get involved to help stop microplastic pollution from your local 3G sports.

  1. Sign our Pledge
  2. Download these cool activities
  3. Check out our action list
  4. Send our Code of Conduct to your Local Authority

Sign Our Pledge

You can sign up as a club, school, community group or individual.

We’ll add an icon to our map to show you’re taking part.

By signing up, you are showing industry, governments and the wider public that you care about creating a healthy environment and want to see more done to prevent microplastic pollution from 3G artificial turf.

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

‘I am signing up to the Pitch In project 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.

Synthetic granules used on 3G artificial pitches are a type of microplastic. This microplastic can easily escape the pitch, ending up in nearby grass, rivers, ponds and eventually might even find their way to sea. Just like other plastic pollution, they can harm wildlife and the environment. Up to 72,000 tonnes are estimated to be lost each year from 3G sports pitches across Europe.

Simple changes to the way an artificial pitch is designed, managed and used can reduce microplastic pollution. These changes need to be implemented on all new pitches and during any refurbishment of existing pitches.’

Play the Pitch In Games


We’ve created some fun activities that you can use to explore how much rubber crumb is lost from your pitch.

Play these games to get your friends, school class or football club to get behind this project.

Want to do more… Take action!


We have prepared a few more actions that you can do to help build awareness of this issue.

Pitch users

  • Shake and brush off rubber crumb from your clothes, shoes and kit before leaving a pitch
  • Email us for a copy of our Pitch In Poster and put it up in your club or school changing room
  • Use our letter template to write to your pitch owner to promote the guidelines and encourage them to do more to prevent microplastic pollution

Pitch Owners

  • Download our guidelines and use them to inform decisions about existing and new pitches
  • Make sure your pitches have suitable brushing stations
  • Download our pitch in poster and info-graphic and display at all your pitches and changing rooms
  • Sign our Code of Conduct and commit to making changes to your pitch design, procurement and management to reduce microplastic pollution

The Pitch In Map

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?