Moratorium on synthetic turf in Chicago

Moratorium on synthetic turf in Chicago

May 5, 2022
Signatures: 11Next Goal: 25
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Why this petition matters

Started by Jeremy Atherton

We sign this petition calling for an immediate emergency moratorium on synthetic turf.

The City of Chicago declared a Climate Emergency. The synthetic turf is not an investment in a sustainable future, not an investment in an environmental or social justice budget, it does not help us protect the planet for work towards a green economy. It is a misallocation of massive funds.  

We call on the citizens of Chicago to sign this petition, forward it to community groups, and for environmental and social justice leaders to draft a white paper responding to this issue, from a social and environmental justice lens.  


Some of our reasons for opposition:

1) Artificial turf does not biodegrade and is not effectively recyclable, so at end-of-life the best outcome is that it will be placed in landfill; more likely it will be shipped to another country, where it will be burned or dumped in the ocean.

2) Artificial turf breaks down into microplastics, which contaminate the water run-off, and are also ingested by the people playing sports on the turf, with unknown health consequences.

3) Other chemicals present in the artificial turf, particularly in the rubber component, which is ground up tires, leaches out and contaminates the water run-off.

4) It is massively expensive up-front and in upkeep with a short lifespan of 8-10 years.  Maintenance, disposal, and replacement funds must be included in any true budget.

5) It is made of fossil fuels, perpetuating climate change, and contributing to the dependence on foreign sources of oil, including Russia.

6) Each square foot of synthetic turf is inert and not life sustaining, compared to living green grass, maintained in an intelligent organic way.   

A better solution would be to spend the money on improving drainage at the park, for example installing bioswales to contain stormwater run-off.

Chicago's parks are among the few green spaces in the city. Please don't contribute further to the trend of covering them in plastic.

Barbara Cooper & Jeremy Atherton


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Signatures: 11Next Goal: 25
Support now