Wembley Stadium creates world’s first recyclable pitch

Wembley Stadium can now boast the world’s first fully recyclable football pitch, according to reports.

The famous football pitch, which is home to the England football team, has developed a new process to make its pitch 100% recyclable.

Modern football pitches are a hybrid of grass and synthetic plastic but recycling hybrid pitches has proved a challenge in the past.

But Wembley owner the Football Association (FA) has devised a process which means the single plastic, polyethylene, which makes up 5% of the pitch, can be extracted from the pitch and repurposed.

The part-plastic pitch was first introduced as a permanent fixture midway through the 2022/2023 season, the Evening Standard reported.

The Wembley turf is removed twice a year, in July and December, before being relayed.

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The FA has plans for the used plastic to be converted into benches at grassroots football clubs and schools in the London Borough of Brent and other clubs.

Karl Standley, the grounds manager at Wembley Stadium, told Response Source: “Extracting the plastic from a hybrid pitch is notoriously difficult, due to its compound and structure. When we first mooted the idea of recycling it, we were told it couldn’t be done. However, we were determined to find a sustainable answer to the problem.

“It’s been a long journey, testing and re-testing, but we have finally come up with a solution we are happy with.

“Creating something from a pitch that has had world class players perform on it is the ultimate memento. I am excited about what else we can possibly create in the future.”

In July last year, the FA launched a five-year sustainability strategy to achieve net zero by 2040.

Meanwhile, carbon labelling is set to appear on food products at the UK’s biggest sports events including including the Six Nations, the FA Cup Final and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Climate crisisMaterials and packagingNet zeroNewsPolicySocial sustainability

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