Skip to Content

How to Recycle Yoga Mats? Expert Tips and Creative Ideas

The practice of yoga is as much about fostering an inner sense of harmony as it is about promoting a sustainable environment. To recycle yoga mats not only contributes to a greener planet but also aligns with the mindful ethos at the heart of yoga. This comprehensive guide will take you through the steps to recycle your yoga mat effectively and offer inventive ideas for upcycling, ensuring that your practice remains eco-friendly from start to finish.

How to Recycle Yoga Mats Properly? Step-by-step!

Recycling yoga mats depends on the material they are made from. Here’s a general step-by-step guide:

1. Clean Your Yoga Mat


To keep your recycled yoga mat in top condition, start by scrubbing off any grime and perspiration with a gentle, eco-friendly soap-and-water blend. Once your mat is spotless, let it air out until it’s fully dry to prevent any mildew or deterioration. Before you recycle your mat, check with your local recycling centers to confirm they can process your mat’s material. If recycling is not feasible, don’t worry—there are numerous innovative ways to give your mat a second life. Proper maintenance and eco-friendly disposal of your yoga mat enhance both your health routine and environmental sustainability.

2. Find a Recycling Facility

Understanding that the composite materials of yoga mats may not be accepted at all recycling plants is crucial when considering mat recycling. A targeted online hunt for facilities with the capability to process these unique materials is a good initial move. Contacting nearby yoga studios is also advisable, as they often engage in or know of mat recycling initiatives. Such studios are likely to have partnerships with recycling centers and might offer an easy location for mat drop-off.

3. Preparing Yoga Mat for Recycling

To ensure your yoga mat is ready for recycling, you must tailor it to meet the requirements of the chosen recycling center. They may instruct you to slice the mat into smaller pieces, aiding in the breakdown and reuse process. Examine the mat for non-recyclable elements, like metallic or rubber embellishments, and detach them before recycling. Adherence to the center’s specific directives is vital for the mat’s recyclability. Proper preparation is a key factor in the seamless recycling of your yoga mat, contributing to your green endeavors.

4. Drop-off or Mail the Yoga Mat

Determine if the recycling center you plan to use for your yoga mat offers a mail-back program or if they accept mats through direct drop-off. Select the option that aligns with your convenience and environmental considerations. A mail-back program could be ideal for ease, enabling you to dispatch your mat without leaving home. Alternatively, if a nearby center accepts yoga mats, personally delivering it could be more eco-friendly, especially if coordinated with other activities to optimize your travel. Regardless of the method, your commitment to proper recycling is a valuable contribution to ecological conservation.

5. Home and Garden Applications

If you find that recycling your yoga mat is not feasible, there are creative ways to repurpose it within your home and garden. Your mat can serve as an excellent liner for plant pots, helping to retain soil and moisture while providing a stable base. It can also be cut and used as a non-slip surface in various areas of your home, such as under rugs or in the kitchen. These repurposing strategies not only extend the life of your yoga mat but also contribute to waste reduction. By finding a new use for your yoga mat, you’re embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle that benefits both your living space and the environment.

6. Donation to Animal Shelters

When looking to recycle yoga mats, consider donating them to animal shelters, where they can find a new purpose as comfortable bedding for pets. Shelters often appreciate these mats for their durability and cushioning, which can offer a warm and soft resting place for animals. By donating your old yoga mat, you’re not only recycling but also providing a touch of comfort to pets in need. This act of kindness helps to reduce waste while making a positive impact on the welfare of sheltered animals. Ultimately, your contribution aids in creating a nurturing environment for these animals as they await their forever homes..

7. Creative Upcycling Ideas

Exploring creative upcycling ideas can give a recycled yoga mat an entirely new life. Consider transforming sections of your mat into unique, cushioned coasters for your home, combining functionality with eco-friendly flair. With a bit of ingenuity, you can fashion your old mat into a pair of comfortable, homemade sandals ideal for casual wear. The mat’s material can also serve as a vibrant canvas for artwork, offering a textural element to your creations. Such innovative upcycling projects not only recycle yoga mats but also allow you to express your creativity and personal style.

8. Limited Recycling Programs

Recycling yoga mats is often difficult due to the scarcity of specialized programs that can handle them. It’s vital for eco-conscious individuals to find and back the few available mat recycling options. Advocating for more such programs is key to expanding responsible disposal opportunities. Greater recycling efforts will enhance the sustainability of yoga mats and lessen their ecological footprint.

9. Reducing Landfill Waste

Recycling yoga mats helps cut down on landfill waste, keeping non-degradable items out and aiding in environmental preservation. Your choice to recycle yoga mats directly supports a cleaner, more sustainable Earth. Each recycled mat lessens the burden on landfills, conserving space and mitigating toxin release. This simple recycling act promotes a healthier planet for all.

10. Corporate Recycling Initiatives

Companies with yoga mat recycling initiatives offer a green solution by accepting used mats for recycling. These programs often reward customers with discounts on new mats as a recycling incentive. This approach encourages sustainable consumer behavior and supports environmental stewardship. Engaging with these initiatives helps consumers reduce waste and embrace responsibility towards the planet.

11. Organizing Local Drives

Organizing local drives is a proactive way to involve your community in recycling yoga mats. By setting up these recycling initiatives, you can provide a convenient drop-off point for residents to recycle their mats. Coupling the drives with educational workshops can help spread the word on the importance of yoga mat recycling. These events not only facilitate the collection of recyclable materials but also foster a sense of community engagement and environmental responsibility. Ultimately, such drives can significantly amplify the impact of recycling efforts on a local scale.


To recycle yoga mats effectively, follow key steps that ensure it either gets properly recycled or repurposed through upcycling or donation. This simple act plays a significant role in promoting environmental conservation.


How do I know if my yoga mat is recyclable?

To determine if your yoga mat is recyclable, check for a recycling symbol or material information on the label or packaging. Mats made from natural rubber, TPE, or PVC are often recyclable. If there’s no clear indication, contact your local recycling center for their specific guidelines or look for yoga mat brands that offer recycling programs.

What to do with an old yoga mat?

With an old yoga mat, you can either recycle it, if it’s made of recyclable material. Or repurpose it for home use as drawer liners, non-slip rugs, or jar openers. Alternatively, you can donate it to charities, animal shelters, or local schools, where it can serve as sleeping pads or for educational activities. Always check for local recycling or donation options first.

Where can I recycle my yoga mat?

You can recycle your yoga mat at specialized recycling centers, fitness studios, or through manufacturer take-back programs, if available. Research local recycling facilities to see if they accept the material your mat is made from. Additionally, look for community organizations or online platforms that offer recycling information specifically for yoga mats to find the most suitable option near you.

Can I put my yoga mat in the curbside recycling bin?

Generally, you cannot put your yoga mat in the curbside recycling bin because most curbside programs do not accept them due to their material composition and size. It’s best to consult with your local recycling facility for their specific guidelines or seek out specialized recycling centers that handle such items. Some may offer drop-off or mail-in options for yoga mat recycling.

Are there any yoga mat brands that offer a recycling program?

Yes, some yoga mat brands offer recycling programs. These brands typically allow you to return your used mats to be recycled or repurposed into new products. Manduka with their ‘LiveOn’ program and JadeYoga are examples of such brands. Check with the brand from which you purchased your mat for specific details about their recycling policies and participation requirements.