For more than a year SBR has been a major focus of debate for a broad range of stakeholders related to the tyre recycling industries. The ETRA ECHA and Sports Committees reviewed key points and potential actions during the summer – clarifying many key points that were raised during the March Conference.
On Tuesday 7th August, Ettore Musacchi (ETRA President) and Bruno Marabotto (Vice President) were hosted by Nicolas Evans, FIFA Group Leader for Football, and Katharine Wistel, FiFA Football Quality Manager, at FIFA Zurich Headquarters to discuss the next steps. The scope of the meeting was to focus on several of the issues surrounding tyre recycling and SBR for the future.
It was noted that this is not the first time that recycled tyre materials (RTMs) have been viciously or unjustly attacked - and that the industry has been called upon to provide objective information and support for these products. Material producers, product manufacturers, the users and players as well, are involved.
Despite the fact that FIFA has remained neutral about the specific materials used in artificial turf, as the structure and components of the system as a whole is important, SBR is the leading infill material used in artificial turf (fact). As such, it is one option within the turf mix.
Further, it is readily available worldwide, performant and sustainable. For this reason FIFA has intervened twice on its behalf, in 2006 and in 2017, with two open letters of support for the use of SBR as infill material.
Other points touched upon during the meeting included several of the quality aspects related to SBR, such as:
- quality control of the materials
- improved performance over comparable products
- prefer local use (as it is not sustainable to move SBR from one side the other of the world when it is locally available)
that will betaken into consideration for future co-operation and projects.
ETRA summarised some of the projects and topics on which the Committee has worked during the recent past – including several which have been submitted for funding, such as:
- RE-PLAY LIFE project.
- TPE for sport.
- New coating for SBR.
- Recycling of used SBR.
- Reduction of the odour.