Artificial grass (2026)

Fake grass made from oil.

As you may have guessed from the title, this is no ordinary grass — and it is not just artificial, it is actually made from oil! It once had the space-aged name of “astroturf” and was mainly used for football pitches here in the northern hemisphere, which enabled players and their clubs to leave both mud and lawnmowers in the past, thereby extending the season.

However, time took its toll on the plastic used, slowly shredding it into smaller and smaller pieces. Combined with the small rubber granules in the grass, you have an environmental disaster: the resulting particles of microplastics ended up in places where they were not welcome, from local streams and rivers to the brains of fish.

It was not until certain municipalities, clubs and players attacked the issue head on that any progress was made in terms of banning this material. Footballers For Future campaigned with the slogan “Put the ref in the ocean, not the plastic” and Helsingborg’s football club sent seeds for quality pitch-grade grass to all their competitors.

Finally, the Swedish Football Association took a stance and asked for government support in their fight to remove the plastic fields. The grass pitches were enriched with biochar, which sequestered carbon while also making the grass more durable. Today, no player worth their salt would consider playing on artificial grass — and they no longer have to suffer from burns on their legs!

Rubber granules: Small balls (2–3 mm), often made from recycled car tires, used in artificial grass to improve the grip. They are bad for the environment since they end up in nearby bodies of water where they can release toxins.

Biochar: By burning organic material, such as garden scraps in the form of leaves and tree branches, with a minimum amount of oxygen, it is transformed into biochar that can be used as soil improvement. This process releases less carbon dioxide than if the material is burned and ensures that much of the carbon is stored for a long time.

This text is part of the future scenario and study material Beyond the Fossil Era.

Bli först att gilla!

Related content