Sustainable SYNLawn® Gains Ground in Turf Industry
Demand for synthetic grass continues to grow along with interest in creating lush, sustainable urban landscapes. Research support from the United Soybean Board enabled Universal Textile Technologies (UTT) to hit the ground running, and gain yardage, with BioCel™ and EnviroCel™ synthetic grass backing made of soy-based polyols.
UTT began using soy-based technology on SYNLawn synthetic grass in 2007 with the goal of providing sustainability before customers demanded it, according to Doug Giles, global marketing director at UTT. However, in addition to helping buyers increase biobased product purchases, SYNLawn is helping federal agencies meet new water reduction requirements established in Executive Order: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (EO 13693). The EO directs federal agencies to reduce by 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2025 the gallons of water used for industrial, landscaping and agricultural consumption relative to fiscal year 2010 baseline.
“Performance-based polyurethanes replaced the traditional latex backing systems earlier,” says Giles. “With the soy-based polyurethanes from BioCel and EnviroCel, we are able to meet federal and state requirements, as well as demand for an environmentally friendly product.”
“Soy-backed synthetic grass incorporates all of the performance attributes previously associated with traditional polyurethane,” says Giles. “Advantages include price stability, a reduction of carbon emission and improved air quality by planting more soybeans with every yard of product sold.”
The company says 0.39 pounds of polyols extracted from American-grown soybeans replace virgin petrochemicals in every yard of their BioCel high-performance backing system.
Landscaping represents a major industry, with water restrictions in many western states. Synthetic turf can be used for putting greens, playgrounds, rooftops, airports, pet kennels and other areas. And, the soy-based synthetic lawn and turf can be found in hotels, casinos and churches across the country.