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A quarter of Australians ‘don’t know where to start’ when it comes to recycling

Australians are increasingly conscious about their environmental impact with more than half (57 per cent) concerned about sending their shoes and clothes to landfill and bothered by products that can’t be recycled easily (54 per cent) – according to the latest survey by TreadLightly.

Three out of four people (78 per cent) believe they could do more to reduce their environmental impact – young people even more so. Of these people who feel like they can do more, over a third haven’t gotten around to doing anything about it, close to a quarter (24 per cent) say they’re overwhelmed and simply don’t know where to start (23 per cent).

TreadLightly is a national recycling initiative that makes it easier for consumers to do their bit for the planet – giving unwanted shoes new life as mats and flooring for retail stores, gyms and playgrounds.

In the lead up to Christmas, TreadLightly is calling on Aussies to recycle their unwanted sports or active lifestyle shoes to help reach its goal of recycling one million pairs of shoes by 2023.

TreadLightly is run by the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) and recycler Save Our Soles (SOS).

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“At TreadLightly, we’re passionate about making it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle their old shoes and contribute to the circular economy by turning them into new products,” said Shaun Bajada, executive director, Australian Sporting Goods Association.

“Our stores have definitely embraced the TreadLightly initiative, and we are seeing more and more customers drop off their old shoes to give them new life. Now that we have started rolling out the recycled flooring in store, it has sparked a lot of conversation with our customers around waste and recycling,” Rachael Adam, SportsPower senior product manager.

The TreadLightly survey also shows that:

  • Half of respondents (50 per cent) are more likely to purchase from brands with a focus on environmental sustainability.
  • Interestingly, of those people who feel like they can do more to reduce their environmental impact, one in five (19 per cent) said they have other competing priorities which makes it difficult for them to do so.
  • 85 per cent of younger Australians (18-24) feel they could do more to reduce their environmental impact, compared with only 70 per cent of older Australians (aged 65+).

“It’s so exciting to see the growth of footwear recycling in Australia since the launch of TreadLightly – providing a local solution to the global problem of used footwear. The success of the initiative shows that when we work together, we achieve better outcomes. SOS is looking forward to working closely with ASGA and our brand partners to continue to drive positive change for our planet,” said John Elliott, owner, Save Our Soles.

Save Our Soles has been recycling shoes in Australia for over 10 years and is committed to dealing with end-of-life product within Australia – creating new recycled products for all Australians to use.

“Whether you’re thinking of adding a new pair of runners to your collection over the Boxing Day sales or will be gifting a new pair of trainers to a family member on Christmas Day – now is the perfect time for everyone to do a big clean out of their closet and take their old shoes into a local store to be recycled by TreadLightly,” added Bajada.

TreadLightly works closely with Australia’s key sporting and active lifestyle brands including Frankie4, Nike, New Balance, Drummond Golf, Rebel Sport, JD Sports, The Athletes Foot and Globe in an industry-first recycling initiative.