Many cheap Yoga mats are made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl. It is one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials ever produced.
Not only is PVC catastrophic to the environment, but it is extremely dangerous to human health throughout its entire life cycle of production, use, and disposal. Mainly because roughly 30% of the worlds supply of chlorine is used in the making of it. Simply, PVC is the single worst plastic according to several health organisations. Greenpeace has been lobbying to stop the use of PVC because of the dioxin produced during its manufacture. It is toxic for humans, the environment and unfortunately many yoga mats are 100% PVC.
You would think PVC in itself would be the worst thing about cheaply made Yoga mats, but unfortunately that is just one aspect. PVC in its full form, is a hard plastic, so to soften this plastic and create flexibility in the Yoga Mat, chemicals like phthalates are added to the PVC.
Phthalates are linked to reproductive issues, including shorter pregnancy duration and premature breast development in girls. Over time these phthalates leach out, especially in warmer temperatures, like in hot Yoga studios. Phthalate particles then cling to dust, which can be inhaled.
PVC can't be recycled due to the toxins embedded within it, and when it's incinerated or buried in landfills it releases dioxin, a known carcinogen. There is no safe way to create, use or destroy these mats.
PVC became the plastic of choice because it's cheap, but when your putting a number on the effects it has on the environment and the harm it has on our health, a PVC FREE Yoga mat is priceless. So when your shopping for your next Yoga mat, ask yourself, what is this mat made of?
All Yogi Peace Club Yoga mats are 100% PVC FREE, made from natural tree rubber. With No phthalates or toxic chemicals. No Latex or Silicon or heavy metals such lead.