Why fake grass is not the environmental disaster it once was (but follow these rules)

by Admin

As every spring rolls round, there is a glut of newspaper articles from gardening experts denouncing the use of fake grass in gardens. While their reasons are valid (to a degree), the background that drives these reasons has changed considerably over the years.

It is not time to start looking at artificial grass from a different point of view, understanding how it sits alongside other ground covering materials in deving deeper into the technological advances that have been integrated into overall manufacturing processes.

The narrative does not represent the reality

One of the principal reasons why synthetic grass has such a bad reputation is that the media picks up on the fast, cheap use of low quality fake grass to finish off the outside space. This has led to fake grass in Barnet developments, for example, looking sparse and unnatural and feeding into the narrative that all artificial grass is ugly and damaging.

When considering this, please bear in mind that this is a temporary, quick fix solution to make the properties look finished, and probably hide a multitude of issues that would be too expensive to fix. Developers will not want to spend any budget on creating beautiful gardens. They do, however, want the final product to look neat, so covering everything in a low quality, low cost grass like covering will achieve this aim.

Most new homeowners will eventually take up the cheap fake grass and create the gardens of their dreams. Which leads us to the second issue – what happens to the discarded product?

Can you recycle artificial lawn?

In short, yes you can. The product itself consists of primarily polyethylene or polypropylene with a latex backing. Until recently the challenge was to deconstruct the product in a way that was cost effective.

Once deconstructed, the plastic is processed into plastic pellets which can be redesigned into other products such as recycled street and garden furniture.

How does it compare to other ground covering options?

In any garden design, there tends to be a variety of different ground coverings – grass, concrete, decking, paving stones, shingles and gravel. Rarely is there one simple covering, but a range that contributes to the overall ecosystem of an outside space.

Artificial grass is just one element of this. Rarely is it used for vast expanses of ground, but rather as a section in part of an overall design. There may be awkward corners of the space which cannot be paved or decked, is too tucked away to be converted into a productive area, and always ends up looking messy, dusty and unfinished. Artificial grass is the perfect solution for such spaces. It can be cut to whatever shape is needed, covering the most unmanageable of corners into a neat, lush green patch that will require minimum maintenance.

Build in biodiversity into your landscaping design

The general consensus is that fake grass destroys the biodiversity of gardens. Nothing could be further from the truth – if you want to create that biodiversity, you can still do it even when using artificial lawn products. After all, as stated earlier, the synthetic grass is only one of a number of elements that make up the overall landscaping design. Whether it is carefully planning your planting, incorporating a water feature, or building a bug hotel, every mini project will sit happily alongside whatever ground covering you choose to lay.

Use a premium product

The most important consideration of all is to carefully choose your artificial grass product. Avoid the cheapest, low grade products. Research the manufacturer, and check that they subscribe to recycling. Some are now even using a recyclable product in their own right. A cheap product will last a couple of years, and look continuously shabby. A premium product will last at least ten to fifteen years, if not longer when well maintained.

related posts

Leave a Comment