Synthetic turf used in sports fields

Information about the issues involved in the use of synthetic turf in sports fields.

The design and use of synthetic turf on community sporting fields and any environmental impacts are assessed as part of the planning process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Local councils are usually the consent authority for approving developments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.  Councils are also the appropriate regulatory authority under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 for pollution issues caused by the installation or use of synthetic turf.

The potential impact of microplastics and the chemical components of synthetic turf on NSW waterways and soils is not well understood. Work is needed to understand potential risks, to determine appropriate mitigation measures, and if needed, develop guidance material for local councils and those responsible for community sports fields.

The government commissioned a study into the use of synthetic alternatives to natural turf in public open spaces. The Chief Scientist and Engineer publicly released his  “Independent review into the design, use and impacts of synthetic turf in public open spaces” in June 2023.  For more information about the report please contact

In response to the report, the department is setting up a project working group with key agencies, including the EPA to develop a whole-of-government response to submit to Cabinet.

More information

If you have an environmental concern or complaint, contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555 or at

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