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Friday, August 26, 2022

Synthetic turf and microplastics under investigation by NSW Chief Scientist

The Office of the Chief Scientist in New South Wales is currently investigating the use of synthetic turf and its environmental impacts, including the generation of microplastics. 

Professor HUGH DURRANT-WHYTE, Commissioner, Natural Resources Commission, and NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer answered questions at the NSW Budget estimates on Tuesday 23 August, 2022.

Durrant-Whyte explained: "It is about suitability for purpose in general, and the Office of the Chief Scientist, in general, doesn't make policy recommendations; it will make science recommendations. There is a lot to do with, as you say, not just microplastics but a whole range of other things, like local temperatures and things like that which impact significantly, but also there is a useability element which is important, so communities actually having access to playing fields and things like that. A lot of things have to be balanced out. Our role in this is to collect the evidence, collect the views, and to genuinely provide the scientific recommendation on which Government can make a policy decision."

The collection of information has been ocurring since the start of 2022 explained Durrant-Whyte. This has included involvement of a number of university groups plus collection of international data.