There are both advantages and disadvantages to Astro Turf. Astro Turf is very good for areas in which grass can’t grow, or for areas that are under such heavy use that grass can’t grow.
On the other hand, Astro Turf causes more severe abrasion injuries than normal grass. Also, some types of Astro Turf require silicon sand and/or granulated rubber infills; these material contain heavy metals that can leach into water tables and the soil. Furthermore, since it is not real grass, Astro Turf cannot photosynthesize, and therefore does not contribute to CO2 reduction in the same way that natural grass does. The production of Astro Turf results in fossil fuel emissions. Astro Turf needs to be disinfected regularly to destroy a number of bacteria and pathogens that get broken up naturally in regular grass.
Whether astroturf or natural grass is better is a complicated question. Natural grass is, well, natural, but most grasses that are typically planted aren’t native species and require a lot of resources in terms of maintenance. They also need to be cut on a regular basis, and while grass clipping are biodegradable, the clippings are generated quickly and pile up. Astroturf doesn’t require watering and isn’t automatically bad for the environment, but had the disadvantage that it won’t biodegrade. When astroturf is removed, it will simply sit in a landfill.
AstroTurf also contains 17 carcinogenic chemicals that can not only get into the air, but into the groundwater.
On the other hand if fertilizer would get used on real grass, then astroturf is better in that way.
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