The Bargara Turtle Playground has reopened with a durable new surface to combat rubber crumb pollution going into the local environment.
Earlier this month Bundaberg Regional Council closed off the coastal park to install a new surface around the popular Turtle Playground.
Rubber crumb from the previous flooring had become more apparent at the Turtle Playground in recent years and it increasingly required additional maintenance and repairs.
Creative Playground Surfaces and Play Matta worked with Council on a solution to help prevent the rubber crumb entering the environment.
Research has shown the tendency for the previous rubber softfall to disintegrate over time, leading to what is termed rubber crumb which can end up in the ocean.
The new Play Matta matting uses recycled plastics, including hospital IV bags and other products that can not be used for other purposes, and once it reaches the end of its life the matting can be recycled by Play Matta and remade into future product.
This matting is a first for the Bundaberg Region, and has been extensively used in other local government areas, including the Sunshine Coast.
It is growing in popularity throughout Australia especially where playgrounds are located near waterways.
Creative Playground Surfaces’ Julie Tate said the new matting was placed over the previous surface
“The way we lay Play Matta we ensure the previous floor cannot break up anymore,” Julie said.
“If we were to pull it up, we would not alleviate the problem, but rather just move the problem.
“Where it is now, it’s secure and not going anywhere.”
Play Matta Sales Manager Australia Mathew Waszak said he was pleased with the result of the project.
“The product is an interlocking system, which is 85 per cent recycled materials,” Mathew said.
“There was an existing surface in place that was starting to break down and the community had some concerns.
“We came up with a solution for Bundaberg Regional Council with Play Matta recover – we’ve been doing this in multiple countries for 30 years where we put our surface straight over the top securely.
“This is the best solution – we have left the existing surface in place so it’s the least damage to the environment as possible, without having to dump it.”
Mathew said Play Matta had done a lot of work to ensure the matting was environmentally friendly.
“Play Matta has done a lot of research into this and it’s the best solution here to keep the existing surface in place and recover it all to encapsulate it all,” he said.
“We believe we have given the best solution for the environment.”
Families wasted no time in checking out the new matting at the popular turtle playground.
Local grandmother Noleen Naske took her grandson, Lachlan, 2, to enjoy the coastal playground and she was pleasantly surprised by the new feature.
“I think this is great, its nice and soft and I like the holes that are in it – there’s a bit of bounce to it, so it’s nice and safe,” she said.
“It’s nice and level, and really pleasing to the eye actually and I like the colour a lot more than the old matting.”
Noleen said she was surprised by the fast turnaround of the project.
“I was impressed by the quickness of it all,” she said.
“It’s really fantastic and I know the kids are really going to enjoy the new look.”