According to National Geographic, half of exported footwear in the world is made of rubber or plastic. And although many brands are driving industry change by designing shoes using sustainable products and recycled materials, it’s hard to eliminate plastic completely.
In Australia alone, 20.5 million tonnes of waste make its way into landfill each year. This is a national problem because shoe components can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
TreadLightly is a new national recycling initiative, powered by the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) and recycler Save Our Soles (SOS), helping Australians to recycle their pre-loved sports and active lifestyle shoes by giving them new life as change room flooring, anti-fatigue mats and gym mats around Australia.
TreadLighty’s latest survey shows that Aussies are hoarding over 100 million unused shoes – full of plastic – that threaten to end up in landfill.
Shaun Bajada, Executive Director, ASGA says that Plastic Free July is the perfect opportunity for Australians to make a change and help support a global issue.
“As a nation, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to recycling, but by taking small steps we can help combat the seriousness of plastic pollution in the world,” said Bajada.
“It’s not always easy to go completely plastic free, but we can all ‘do our bit for the planet’ by simply recycling any unwanted shoes this July to help kickstart change to create a healthier planet.”
“All you need to do is go through your wardrobe to find any old sports or active lifestyle shoes that you no longer need and take them to one our retail partners to be recycled. If we work together, we can help to keep plastic out of landfill,” added Bajada.
TreadLightly partners with Australia’s leading sports brands to allow consumers, retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to create a local solution to the global waste problem – making it easier than ever before for us all to tread lightly.
To participate in this year’s Plastic Free July and help keep unwanted shoes out of landfill, simply head to one of TreadLightly’s 600 collection points across Australia. To find your local collection point visit https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/collection-locations/