Formation of GBN Artificial Grass Recycling provides a circular solution for artificial grass processing

Utrecht, 27 May 2019 – GBN Group announces the formation of GBN Artificial Grass Recycling B.V. (GBN-AGR). This company will soon be opening the first circular processing plant for end-of-life artificial grass in the Netherlands. In doing so, GBN-AGR is offering a sustainable solution to a pressing social issue associated with the collection and processing of worn-out artificial grass. The intended location is in the Westelijk Havengebied (western harbour area) in Amsterdam and is expected to open in spring 2020. In addition to GBN Group, various chain partners are involved in the formation of GBN-AGR.

There are currently no organisations in the Netherlands that can collect and recycle end-of-life artificial grass in a clean, safe and sustainable manner. This has left many municipalities, sports associations and other organisations without any options for disposing of end-of-life artificial grass responsibly, resulting in large artificial grass mountains in various unsuitable locations in the Netherlands. The newly established GBN-AGR can now present a concrete solution: it will soon be opening a processing facility in Amsterdam where end-of-life artificial grass will be processed into new high-quality, circular raw materials. The plant will soon offer sufficient capacity for both current and future market volume. In order to stop the artificial grass mountain in the Netherlands growing bigger, GBN-AGR is already accepting end-of-life artificial grass at a temporary emergency location in Hoorn. In doing so we will, of course, guarantee sustainable and responsible storage and processing.

This is a unique solution and also sustainable, both economically and in terms of environmental impact. GBN-AGR was set up by GBN Group in collaboration with chain partners Antea Sport, Edel Grass, Ten Cate Grass Group, Greenfields, CSC Sport, Sports & Leisure Group and Domo Sport Grass. It is an initiative set up by and for the industry, arising from a collaboration between a number of parties who set up the Alliance of collaborating artificial grass suppliers and contractors in early 2019. The collaboration provides for the necessary investment for processing sufficient volumes of artificial grass. The scale of this initiative, which was missing from earlier attempts, is sufficiently guaranteed within this collaboration. Each party can supply end-of-life artificial grass material and thus contribute to circularity within the industry.

As soon as its doors are open, the processing plant can immediately start the circular processing of the artificial grass mats that have accumulated in the Netherlands, including the mats stored in GBN’s temporary Hoorn location. Sufficient market volume therefore exists for a solid business case, certainly also in view of the growing demand for circular raw materials from various sectors in Dutch industry. GBN-AGR will soon offer its Dutch clients a supply of new, circular raw materials; this will be consistent in both quality and volume.

The intended location is in the Westelijk Havengebied (western harbour area) in Amsterdam, in the heart of Port of Amsterdam’s circular cluster. Applications have been made for the necessary permits and the permit procedure is currently under way in close consultation with the authorities and bodies concerned. The new processing plant’s functions are a perfect reflection of the aspirations of Port of Amsterdam‘s circular cluster. GBN-AGR will also provide the Port with several important guarantees relating to the treatment process, for example the company will guarantee high-quality recycling and it will ensure that artificial grass mountains are never left at this location.

After the start-up phase, GBN-AGR will work on perfecting the treatment process until 100% circular processing is achieved. The quality of the treatment process will then be so high that BRL certification will become possible, so that both clients and circular raw materials purchasers can be guaranteed a fully transparent and high-value process. As part of its efforts to be transparent, GBN-AGR will also publish an annual impact report containing such details as how many square metres of artificial grass have been processed, descriptions of the raw materials or products into which the artificial grass has been processed and where the products have ended up.