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ASA rules against “recyclable” artificial grass

The ASA has published its ruling against Perfectly Green, an artificial grass supplier which marketed one of its products as “recyclable”.

Environmental campaign group Plastics Rebellion challenged the claims that Perfectly Green’s Soul Eco Grass could be advertised as recyclable, saying it was misleading as the “PP backing” referred to in the company’s tweet about the product referred to polypropylene. The group says this “complicated the recycling process”. Plastics Rebellion also said the product’s name was misleading as it implied that the artificial grass is eco-friendly.

A statement from the group following the ruling says: “It doesn’t matter if something is recyclable in principle; what matters is if there are actual facilities to recycle it. If these facilities don’t yet exist, then this product isn’t currently recyclable.”

Plastics Rebellion has been campaigning since the summer for a ban on sales of artificial grass in the UK, with an open letter to Defra.

Gerard O’Driscoll, sales director for Perfectly Green, says: “Artificial grass is sometimes used as an option to concrete, decking, patio slabs or other artificial/manufactured surfaces. It may also be selected by homeowners who have lawns unable to be maintained due to lack of sunlight, presence of lawn pests such as Leatherjackets, or old age/disability, for example. Artificial grass is used as a safety surface for playgrounds, enabling children to remain active throughout the year even through winter. Artificial grass is also used to create ‘green spaces’ on roof gardens, balconies, terraces events and exhibitions. Artificial grass surfaces do not require watering in dry conditions, electric/petrol mowing, or treatment with pesticides or fungicides.

“As a responsible supplier Perfectly Green is also keen to introduce products which are recyclable. While ‘Soul’ is produced from materials which can be recycled, we accepted the ASA view that the recycling infrastructure in the UK is not sufficiently developed to offer available, effective recycling right now. We do expect such facilities to be available in the next few years.”

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