According to a report by the World Bank, mankind generates approx. 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, including approx. 12 percent – or 240 million tons – of plastic waste. As cities and countries are rapidly developing without adequate systems in place to manage these masses, plastic waste is choking our oceans and piling up on land – and yet our consumption of plastics is only increasing. [1]

[1] What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050

The yoga industry and its many millions customers are co-responsible for massive amounts of solid waste in general, and plastic waste in particular. Even though there is hardly any data to quantify the exact yoga-related waste worldwide, one thing is for sure: With an estimated 300 million yoga practitioners, millions of mats and props are disposed of each year. They are usually burned in an incinerator, landfilled or, worse, dumped illegally. Contrary to what many rubber, TPE and PU yoga mat brands claim about the biodegradability process of their mats, at Kurma we are not convinced that biodegradability will effectively work in a landfill. Instead we made the choice for industrial recycling which allows us to fully control both the process and the desired output. That’s why all Kurma mats are 100% recyclable.

It is our goal to make every product we sell 100% recyclable.

Several major milestones to achieve this ambitious aim have already been set:

In January 2020 our PVC yoga mats were successfully recycled for the first time – they can now be 100% reused into new industrial products.

In Fall 2020 we introduced the GECO Series, the only rubber mats that can be 100% recycled into new rubber yoga mats.

To help reduce the vast environmental impact of yoga, Kurma co-initiated the ContinuOM Collective in the beginning of 2020: a non-profit organisation dedicated to finding sustainable solutions for the hard-to-recycle waste stream the yoga industry (and its customers) is responsible for. To implement these solutions, we launched the Second Flow initiative which focuses on the collection of used yoga mats, the donation of too-good-to-go mats to worthy causes, and the recycling of yoga mats and production waste into new [yoga] products. Step by step, the post-consumer collection system will be extended to more and more products and countries. If you are interested in joining the Second Flow initiative, we would love to hear from you.