Yoga Mat Recycling 101: Where to Recycle and How to Do It Right

If you’re a regular yoga practitioner, chances are you’ve had to replace your yoga mat at some point. Whether it’s due to wear and tear or you’re upgrading to a new one, it’s important to dispose of your old mat responsibly. But where can you recycle yoga mats? And what should you do to prepare it for recycling? In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can recycle your yoga mat and the best practices to follow.

Why Recycle Yoga Mats?

Before we dive into the where and how of yoga mat recycling, let’s take a moment to discuss why it’s important. Yoga mats are typically made of PVC, a plastic that is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose. When PVC is burned or buried in landfills, it releases toxic chemicals that can harm the environment and human health.

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By recycling your yoga mat, you’re not only preventing it from ending up in a landfill but also reducing the demand for virgin materials. Recycling also saves energy and resources that would otherwise be used in the production of new mats.

Where to Recycle Your Yoga Mat?

There are a few options for recycling your yoga mat, depending on where you live and the facilities available. Here are some of the most common options:

  1. Check with your local recycling center: Many cities and towns have recycling centers that accept yoga mats for recycling. Check with your local center to see if they accept PVC mats and if there are any specific instructions for preparing them for recycling.
  2. Look for specialized recycling programs: Some companies, such as Jade Yoga and Manduka, have recycling programs for their own mats or those of their competitors. You can send in your old mat to be recycled, and in some cases, you may even receive a discount on a new mat.
  3. Donate your mat: If your mat is still in good condition, consider donating it to a yoga studio or community center. They may be able to put it to good use, and you’ll be keeping it out of the landfill.

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Preparing Your Mat for Recycling

Before you recycle your yoga mat, there are a few steps you should take to prepare it:

  1. Clean it: Give your mat a good cleaning to remove any dirt, sweat, or bacteria. Use mild soap and water or a specialized yoga mat cleaner.
  2. Dry it: Make sure your mat is completely dry before recycling it. Hang it up or lay it flat to air dry for several hours.
  3. Roll it up: Roll your mat up tightly and secure it with a rubber band or string. This will make it easier to transport and process recycling.

Repurposing Your Yoga Mat

If your yoga mat is still in good condition but you’re looking for a new one, consider repurposing your old mat instead of throwing it away. Here are some ideas:

  1. Donate it: As mentioned earlier, you can donate your mat to a yoga studio or community center. They may use it for classes or give it to someone in need.
  2. Use it for other exercises: If you’re into other types of exercises like Pilates, barre, or stretching, your yoga mat can still come in handy.
  3. Cut it up: You can cut up your mat into smaller pieces and use them as coasters, placemats, or even shoe inserts.


If you’re looking to recycle your old yoga mat, there are several options available. Some companies, such as Manduka and JadeYoga, have recycling programs in place that allow you to send in your old mat to be recycled into new products. Additionally, you can search for local recycling centers or organizations that accept yoga mats for recycling. Another option is to repurpose your old mat for DIY projects, such as cushioning for gardening or as a non-slip surface for your car trunk. With these options, there’s no need to throw away your old yoga mat and contribute to landfill waste. Recycle or repurpose it instead!

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