EVERY SHOE COUNTS: Reduce your plastic waste with TreadLightly this Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is here and TreadLightly is calling on Australians to reduce their plastic waste – by keeping their unwanted shoes out of landfill and recycling them to give them new life.

According to National Geographic[1], 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[2].

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/

[1] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/shoes-sneakers-plastic-problem

[2] https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/aussies-hoarding-unused-shoes-for-a-rainy-day/

For any images, further information or to set up interviews with a brand representative, please contact Tara Ballard (contact details: 0436 330 267 tara@asga.com.au)

About ASGA

The Australian Sporting Goods Association was formed in 1981 to act as the “peak body” representing a broad spectrum of sporting and active lifestyle goods industry participants, including brands, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

ASGA is a leading industry voice on issues impacting the health, trade, taxation, regulation, market research, environmental and sustainability areas of the sporting and active lifestyle industries. It aims to foster the market growth, provide services, and advocate for increased participation in sport and physical activity. ASGA is a leading advocate in the industry and is at the forefront of debate and leads industry opinion.

About Save Our Soles

As Recycling Process Lead, Save Our Soles (SOS) manage all resource reclamation activities, from extraction to end product development. Save Our Soles is committed to ensuring that all Shoes that are imported into Australia and New Zealand are recycled and used in this market. Australia imports approximately 100 million pairs into Australia and New Zealand every year and we have to start reusing this valuable product rather than throwing them into landfill.

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