5 Ways to Recycle Wetsuits - Turtl Project

5 Ways to Recycle Wetsuits


Kitesurfing Miami Galapagos Wetsuit 4/3



Except for the lucky few that get to enjoy the ocean all year in swim trunks, wetsuits are essential to every water sports enthusiasts. However, their disposal is becoming a growing concern. With the increasing popularity of activities such as surfing, diving, and paddleboarding, the number of wetsuits being discarded each year is adding up. 


Neoprene is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and has a significant carbon footprint. And when they end up in landfills, wetsuits can take over 50 years to decompose! That's why it's important to start investing in petroleum-free alternatives and to prolong the life of the neoprene material already in circulation. And when the time finally comes, it's important to make sure we dispose of wetsuits in an environmentally responsible way. So we put together the following list of some of the ways we like to give a second life to old wetsuits, and encourage you to try some out for yourself!




#1: Downcycle the Wetsuit


Some programs turn old wetsuits into new products like wallets, yoga mats or even phone cases.


Turtl Project

 Wallet made from recycled wetsuit materials


You can donate old wetsuits to us through our downcycling donation program! However due to the environmental damage associated with transporting goods over long distance and our production demands, we ask you to only donate wetsuits if you are in the Barcelona or Miami-Dade areas.




Suga recycled wetsuit yoga map


Suga makes premium 5mm yoga mats entirely from recycled wetsuits.



Lava Rubber


Recycled fli flops


Lavarubber collects wetsuits and turns them into slippers, surf mats, yoga mats and coasters


#2: Donate the Wetsuit


There are organizations dedicated to running activities and education in the water. These organizations rely on donations and public funds, so a wetsuit donation can go a long way towards helping someone experience the ocean in a new way.



Warm Current

Warm Current provides access to free, fun, active and educational surfing programs for young kids. Their mission is to make surfing more accessible and more fun for to the Native youth on the Washington Coast.
Warm Current accepts used wetsuits and utilizes them for free community programs. They only accept 3/2 and 4/3 full wetsuits (no shorties, farmer johns, booties, or wetsuits with broken zippers, large holes, or other damage).



Local programs

You can also donate to local programs that work in ocean conservation and/or education. The majority of these programs run through donations and every little bit helps.



 Turtl Project Wetsuit used for Kitesurfing



#3: Sell the Wetsuit

Depending on the condition of the wetsuit you might be able to sell it to other people through social media or to surf shops on consignment .




#4: Re-Use the Wetsuit



Patch up Other Gear

If you have other neoprene items like wetsuits or dive suits with holes or tears, cut up the old wetsuit and use it as a patch. 


Protective cover

 Use the wetsuit to protect your bike or other outdoor equipment from scratches or other damage.

Knee or elbow pads

Cut it up and wetsuits make excellent knee or elbow pads for various sports, like skateboarding or rollerblading.





#5: Re-Purpose the Wetsuit

Here are 4 creative ways to prolong neoprene's life, and don't be afraid to think outside the box with your own ideas!


Insulation or padding

Wetsuits can be used as insulation in your home or as padding in your pet's bed to make it more comfortable.



Ground cover

Cut up the wetsuit and use it as ground cover for gardening or landscaping. It can help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing.

Make home decor items

You can cut up the neoprene and use it to make items like cushion covers, table mats, or coasters.



Use it as stuffing

Cut up the wetsuit and use the neoprene as stuffing for toys or pillows, making them more comfortable and durable.



Wetsuit disposal is a significant environmental problem, but there are several solutions available for responsible disposal. By prolonging the life span of our wetsuits and making purchasing decisions that take responsibility for the care of the environment we can continue to enjoy our beloved oceans and protect them for many generations to come.








How long does neoprene take to decompose?

Neoprene can take over 100 years to decompose in a landfill.


How long does a wetsuit last?

The average lifespan of a petroleum wetsuit is around 1-2 years. However, a wetsuit can last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the quality of the material and how well it is taken care of.


What can I do with a used wetsuit?

There are several options for disposing of a used wetsuit, including donating it to a community program or upcycling/downcycling program.


Can wetsuit material be recycled?

Yes, wetsuit material can be recycled, but the process is not widely available yet.


What happens to old wetsuits?

Many old wetsuits end up in landfills, where they take years to decompose.


How is neoprene disposed?

Neoprene can be recycled or upcycled, check out our downcycling program to learn more.


What is the environmental impact of wetsuits?

Wetsuits have a significant environmental impact, as they are made from non-biodegradable materials and often end up in landfills. 



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