What is an Antimicrobial?
Antimicrobials eliminate and inhibit the growth of microbes such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Antimicrobials are widely used to fight infections both inside and outside the body and can be found in household disinfectants and commonly used medicines such as penicillin.
Our range of antimicrobial products are made using a safe antimicrobial treatment proven to prevent bacterial and fungal growth and eliminate bad odours.
We don’t mask odours – we prevent them at their source.
What is Polygiene®?
Polygiene® is the Swedish-developed antimicrobial used by Pure Practice in our antimicrobial products. Polygiene’s active ingredient is Silver Salt, which is naturally found in drinking water, seawater and soil.
Silver’s inherent ability to control microbial growth has long been recognised, with ancient Greek and Roman civilisations using silver vessels to keep drinking water clean. Today, silver continues to be widely used for its sanitising qualities: spacecraft water tanks are lined with silver and silver-infused topical creams are used in Australian hospitals in the treatment of burn wounds.
How does it work?
The Clean Eco Yoga Mat, The Clean Mat Spray and Anti-Funk Wash contain Polygiene® particles that eliminate any bacteria or fungi that come into contact with the product. Benefits of Polygiene® include:
- Neutralises bad odours that are the result of bacteria and fungi being present and multiplying.
- Prevents fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. Reduces cross-contamination of germs from person to person.
- Extends the life of the product by eliminating bacteria which, when present, discolour and breakdown fibres.
How long does it last?
This depends on the product:
- The Polygiene® in The Clean Eco Yoga Mat is built-into the mat when the mat is made. As you use and wash the mat, the Polygiene® inside the mat won’t wash away or wear-off. Following our Care Instructions for the mat is important – doing so will mean that the mat is protected against microbial growth and bad odours for its useful life.
- One application of The Clean Mat Spray will protect your mat from microbial growth and bad odours for one week.
- One treatment of the Anti-Funk Wash will protect your clothing from microbial growth and permanent bad odours for 6 - 8 washes.
Is it safe?
Yes. All of our products are safe and contain no toxic materials. The Clean Eco Yoga Mat has been independently tested and is certified to contain no harmful phthalates, dioxins or heavy metals. All the dyes that we use are heavy metal, AZO and lead free and meet the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard.
Polygiene® itself is a safe, non-toxic treatment that does not leach or interfere with the natural balance of bacteria on the skin. It is widely used in the healthcare industry and has been extensively tested against international standards for skin irritation and sensitisation.
Is it environmentally friendly?
We adopt a complete life cycle approach to the manufacturing and use of our products. Polygiene® is made from 100% recycled silver sourced from photographic applications. It is certified by Oeko-Tex® as safe and environmentally friendly and is approved by Bluesign®, a Greenpeace-recognised international environmental standard. The Clean Eco Yoga Mat is made from PER® (see more info below) – a biodegradable, decomposable yoga mat material that’s toxin-free and approved by REACH®.
What is Polymer Environmental Resin (PER®)?
The Clean Eco Yoga Mat is made from “Polymer Environmentally-friendly Resin” (PER®). PER® is a durable, environmentally superior alternative to the standard PVC that’s used in the majority of yoga mats worldwide.
PVC yoga mats are proven to contain mercury, lead and arsenic and are softened with the use of phthalates. PVC mats are immortal in landfill, with studies showing that after decades of burial, no degradation is found. PVC yoga mats are extremely difficult to recycle and, as a result, in Australia less than 1% of PVC is recovered and recycled.
PER® has food grade skin safety and is certified to contain no heavy metals (such as mercury, lead), arsenic, phenols and phthalates. PER® biodegrades with a dwell time of 17 months once in landfill. PER® is also capable of several recycling cycles and is currently being recovered and recycled into garbage bins and flowerpots.
PER® vs PVC: What’s the difference?
PVC is a very durable plastic and, because it’s cheap, it is the polymer that the majority of yoga mats worldwide are made from.
PVC however has the negative association of being toxic to both humans and the environment throughout its entire lifecycle (from manufacturing, through to use, through to its disposal). It is said to leach its chemical additives (phthalates and heavy metals) during its use. Furthermore, when landfills containing PVC mats catch fire, the mats leach carcinogens as they burn.
Phthalate plasticizers, added to PVC yoga mats to make the plastic soft and flexible, are believed to be toxic to humans. In acknowledgment of its risks, in 2011 Australia followed the U.S., E.U. and Japan in permanently banning all children’s products containing phthalates.
PVC is not biodegradable and doesn’t decompose. It is also difficult to recycle and as a result less than 1% of PVC in Australia is recovered and recycled.
It was our challenge at Pure Practice to find a yoga mat material that offered the same benefits as PVC, but was kinder to the user and the environment.
We researched extensively and selected PER® (Polymer Environmentally-friendly Resin). PER® starts off with the same polymer foundation as PVC – it is this similarity in foundation that gives PER® the same strength as PVC, the same durability, the same lightweight, the same ability to be used in hot yoga rooms and in a moist environment.
But it is at this point that the similarity in structure between PVC and PER® ends. PER® then branches off to become its own polymer and does so without the addition of the heavy metals and phthalates plasticizers that PVC contains.
PER® is recognised as the likely replacement of PVC.
Whilst its production process is truthfully no more efficient in material use than PVC, it is PER’s recyclability and biodegradability that make it a better choice over PVC. Furthermore, during its use PER® does not leach the heavy metals and phthalates that PVC supposedly does, therefore making PER® better for the user. If a landfill containing a PER® mat catches fire, PER® has little to no harmful emissions.
PER® is capable of several recycling cycles, meaning that in a given amount of time, fewer PER® products will reach their end of life than PVC.