Ecobacking: a recyclable base for your landscape turf
Have you ever wondered what’s on the underside of your landscape turf? In fact, this backing plays an all-important role in terms of the recyclability, stability and durability of the turf itself. We have recently developed an innovative polyolefin ‘ecobacking’ that sets a new standard for both recyclability and performance.
A short introduction to turf backings
The underside of a tufted artificial grass carpet, also known as the backing, fixes the tufts securely and gives the carpet additional strength and stability. Most carpets have a double backing, which consists of:
- a primary backing, onto which the yarns are tufted.
- a secondary backing, which is applied to the primary backing as the outer material.
Carpet backings can be made from various types of materials, depending upon the desired product quality and performance (heavy vs. light products, long vs. short lifetime, flame retardancy, etc.).
Recycling your turf: why the backing is key
To ensure optimal recyclability, ideally the yarns, primary and secondary backing need to be made from the same material. However, our primary backings and the yarns that make up the turf pile side are made of polyolefins, which are completely different to the materials used to create our standard secondary backings.
Think of it as mixing black and white. Ultimately, you end up with grey, and thereafter it is simply impossible to get back to your original white or black. In terms of our turf, it means that in the end we are left with a mix of materials which cannot be recycled or reprocessed due to their different properties.
In order to enhance the recyclability of our products, we have designed a new type of secondary backing: ecobacking. Unlike the existing latex and PU backings, ecobacking is made of a polyolefin dispersion, which contains small particles of polymers of the same type as the pile yarns and primary backing. By applying the dispersion onto the primary backing and then putting it in the oven, the water evaporates and the polymer particles melt, which in turn binds the fibres to the backing.
Our new ecobacking offers a range of significant benefits compared to alternative backings:
Benefit #1: higher recyclability
Ecobacking consists of a mix of PP (polypropylene) and PE (polyethylene). Although these are both part of the polyolefin family, it is still not possible to refer to it as ‘mono-material’. But since the ecobacking and primary backing both consist of polyolefin material, the carpet’s recyclability is nevertheless significantly improved.
Benefit #2: less material is used in production
We use up to 50% less material in order to produce our ecobacking.
Benefit #3: premium stability and durability
Thanks to the greater flexibility of the polyolefin backing, the carpet adapts even better to surfaces that are not 100% even, thereby ensuring a quick and smooth installation. Moreover, different tests have shown that our ecobacking performs much better in terms of dimensional stability, durability, and pile retention strength than both the marine and PU backing.
Curious about our ecobacking?
We are currently rolling out our new backing in different landscape turf products. Contact a certified Turfgrass installer near you for more information about our collection.