Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yoga News - New Environmental Concern: Yoga Mats

Fred Germani
For The Yoga Mat Association News

An estimated 240 million Yoga mats are discarded each year, adding to the estimated two to three billion now littering the landscape. Yoga mats are ideal breeding grounds for rats and mosquitoes and are fire hazards (burning, they release toxic chemicals into the air and produce an oil-like residue that can contaminate groundwater).

Environmental Concerns. The Yoga mat industry's environmental efforts have focused primarily on the reuse, recycling, and safe disposal of scrap mats. Reuse programs include retreading as well as newer anti-erosion programs. Recycled mats can also been used in asphalt-based road coverings, shoes, household items, and even new mats. But in spite of all these programs, hundreds of millions of mat discards went to landfills since the beginning of the Yoga boom in the early 2000.

Ms. Sally Hartgield, Press Secretary for the Yoga Mat Association, summed it up this way, "What a mess"!