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2020 Olympic field hockey games to be played on green plastic turf

Brazil-based petrochemical and biobased major Braskem and Germany-based Polytan, a specialist in outdoor sports surfaces will supply hockey fields made from Braskem's "I'm green" polyethylene to the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan next year.

Polytan, a leading supplier of world-class hockey fields and a global partner of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), is supplying a sustainable hockey turf Poligras Tokyo GT based on Braskem’s “I’m green” polyethylene for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan (image courtesy Braskem).

Tokyo has set for itself the goal of organizing the first-ever carbon-neutral Olympic Games in 2020 by adopting green technologies. Polytan, a leading supplier of world-class hockey fields and a global partner of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), is making an important contribution by developing the sustainable hockey turf Poligras Tokyo GT (Green Technology).

In Poligras Tokyo GT, 60 percent of filaments adopt the renewable “I’m green” polyethylene technology developed by Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas and the world’s leading biopolymer producer.

We are so proud that Polytan and the FIH have chosen Braskem’s “I’m green” polyethylene for the hockey fields for the 2020 Tokyo Games. The city has set for itself the goal of organizing the first carbon-neutral games, and we are happy that Braskem can make its contribution together with FIH and Polytan, said Marco Jansen, Commercial Director at Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Europe & North America division.

Improved environmental footprint

Polytan is using green plastic to add a sustainable dimension to the outstanding playing properties of its tried-and-tested synthetic turf made from polyethylene monofilament fibres.

An elastic base layer ensures optimum absorption and is an important part of the entire hockey turf system. The Polytan PolyBase GT elastic layer gives the hockey turf an even better environmental balance. A high-performance binder, with low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, is used for the permanent elastic binding of the granules.

FIH is delighted that this new turf technology will support Tokyo’s carbon-neutral vision and make a positive contribution to the Games. FIH has a strategic priority to improve hockey’s environmental footprint, which is why partnerships with progressive companies such as Polytan and Braskem are crucial. We are pleased to note that the surface that will be used in Tokyo requires 66 percent less water than surfaces used at previous Olympic Games. FIH believes that hockey can contribute to a more sustainable environment by making use of all the technological possibilities modern turf offers, said Thierry Weil, CEO, FIH.

Brakem’s “I’m green” polyethylene is a plastic made from sugarcane-derived ethanol. It is a biobased raw material that, during its growth, captures CO2 from the environment. The reason why Polytan has chosen this raw material for its artificial turf production is that the carbon footprint of “I’m green” polyethylene has a positive impact compared to fossil-based polyethylene.

For every kilogram of green polyethylene used in fields for the Olympic Games, almost five kilograms of CO2 emissions will be avoided. And all this is being achieved without any compromise in turf quality.

With the development of the Poligras Tokyo GT, we have succeeded not only in making a hockey pitch more sustainable but also in significantly improving its performance. Never before has a hockey turf been more environmentally friendly or allowed such a dynamic and precise hockey game, said Friedemann Söll, Director Product Management at Polytan.

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