Are Chair Mats Recyclable? Everything You Need To Know

Whether you’re a renter who doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of scratching up your landlord’s apartment by your chair, or a homeowner who just wants to protect his hardwood floor, a chair mat is a life saver for you. 

Even the best ergonomic office chair is capable of causing damage to your floor/carpet by its rolling wheels. But, the issue is that chair mats are made of non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, tempered glass and PVC. The only environmentally safe choice would be to recycle the chair mats.

Are chair mats recyclable? The plastic chair mats/floor mats used underneath the desk chairs at home or at office are usually made out of flexible PVC tiles or polypropylene that can be recycled. If the chair mats can be cut into small pieces and put into the blue bin then they can easily be recycled. 

That’s not all. There are a lot of things to discuss when it comes to the recycling process of chair mats. That’s why in this article, we’ll dig deep into this issue and figure out whether investing in a chair mat is an environmentally-friendly choice for you.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin!

Why Are Office Chair Mats Recyclable?

As we’ve briefly mentioned before office chair mats that are made of polypropylene and PVC are recyclable.

Also, if the chair mat is made out of an engineered resin named thermoplastic rubber, that is 100% recyclable. 

This type of floor mats are free of cadmium, latex, lead and PVC. And that’s why they are easily recycled.

Now, you might be wondering if other types of mats such as car floor mats are recyclable.

The good news is that those types of floor mats are also fully recyclable. Although you might have to drop off these products at specialized recycling facilities for them to get properly recycled.  

How to Dispose Chair Mats?

You should be wary of the fact that some office chair mats use materials that are harmful for the environment. For instance, if the chair mat is made of synthetic materials like propylene, foam or rubber then it’s harmful. 

That’s because these materials require an exorbitantly long time to biodegrade. So, your first step should be to find out what materials your office chair mat model is made out of. 

If the base of the chair mat is made of plastic, then it can be recycled. But, propylene is not recyclable. On the other hand, chair mats made of glass can easily be broken down and placed inside a glass recycling bin. 

Don’t forget to use a  recycling bag while doing that to ensure nobody gets cut while taking out the bag out of the trash bin. 

Finally, if some part of the mat is recyclable, then you have to go through the trouble of taking the mat apart. After that, you must recycle the parts that are recyclable and dispose of the other non-recyclable parts.

What If the Chair Mat Isn’t Recyclable? 

If you’ve found out that the floor mat you’ve purchased isn’t recyclable, there’s no need to worry. There are various ways you can dispose of the mat. 

You could easily cut up the mat into small pieces and throw it out with the trash. That’s definitely the most obvious choice. But, if you’re creative enough, you could repurpose it for being used for a different function.

That way you won’t have to throw out the chair mat and it will be able to serve a new purpose. 

Some repurpose ideas include turning it into a welcome mat, donating to a dog shelter, turning it into an underlining for your outdoor pot plants, and if it’s a glass mat, then turn it into a craft cutting board. 

The possibilities are endless! All you need is a little bit of creativity. 

Are Plastic Office Chair Mats Recyclable? 

As you’re probably aware, almost all types of products made out of plastic are advertised as recyclable. The same is true in the case of plastic office chair mats. 

Nevertheless, you should note that, office plastic office chair mats cannot be recycled many times. They could potentially be recycled 2 or 3 times and then they must be disposed of. 

Can Rubber Chair Mats Be Recycled? 

It’s a well-known fact that commonly used rubber products such as carpet underlays, truck tyres and even conveyor belts can be recycled. The same is true when it comes to chair mats made out of rubber. 

Commercial recyclers send the shaded rubber products for manufacturing new rubber products such as chair/floor mats, thus completing their life-cycle. 

It all comes full circle and this process is more cost-efficient and less energy-consuming than using virgin materials.   

Are Vinyl Floor Mats Recyclable? 

The fact is that all vinyl products are indeed recyclable. And that also includes vinyl floor mats. Not only that! They can be recycled for a general purpose like making new floor mats. 

They can also be used for a specialized purpose such as breaking the materials down and building an entirely new product.  

Related Questions 

Are Chair Mats Worth It? 

Chair mats are definitely as they are ideal for protecting your floors from scuffs, scratches, indentations and spills. Not only does it protect your floors/carpet, it also makes it easy for your office chair to roll around in your workspace.

Furthermore, rolling around on your chair while on the bare floor will cause back pain as well as leg strain.

Since chair mats make moving around on the chair much more effortless, you won’t feel any strain while doing so. 

In case it’s not clear to you yet, the answer is yes! Chair mats are definitely worth investing in. 

And you should definitely consider purchasing one. And as we’ve proven in this article they are recyclable and so you won’t have to feel guilty about causing damage to the environment. 

What to Do with Old Chair Mats?

Well, recycling the old chair mats would be an excellent choice. Don’t you agree? However, that option is only possible  if the chair mat is made out of recyclable materials. 

You would be surprised at the number of options available to you if you want to do something about your old chair mats.

For instance, you can repurpose them when they are not suitable for use on your floors. You can use them in the garden or even indoors to keep your pots. 

If you’re generous, then you can even donate your old chair mats to animal shelters. Animal stables, brans and shelters require rubber matting inside the animal enclosures. 

Final Thoughts  

There is no doubt of the fact that an office chair mat is an essential product for your office/workspace.

It’s the only line of defence against indentations and scratches for your hardwood, tile or linoleum floors. 

They also protect your precious carpets from getting deformed or snagged. Despite all of that, some might be concerned about the environmental impact of using such a product. 

Rest assured that you’re not causing any damage to the environment if you properly recycle your old chair mats. Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful. Till next time, adios!

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started reseaching on ergonomic chair and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.