A program that remedies and recycles tired, unused athletic shoes – the ASGA Save Our Soles initiative – was funded by the Australian government through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF) and brings the sporting goods industry one step closer to a sustainable future.
The program aims to reduce the amount of shoes sent to landfill annually by developing a scalable model for athletic shoe recycling in Australia. This model includes the conversion of popular sports shoes and their conversion into gymnastic mats, flooring for retail, playground and outdoor sports areas.
The grant will help expand the industry-funded take-back program, triggered by a successful launch in 2019 as a pilot program in Victoria. The initiative has already resulted in the collection of over 100,000 pairs of shoes for recycling – an indication of the need for a national program.
ASGA has partnered with major sporting goods brands and renowned retailers such as Nike, adidas, Asics, Converse, Super Retail Group, Globe, JD Sports, New Balance, SportsPower, Frankie4, Brand Collective, Mizuno and Accent Group to close the loop on the Australian product lifecycle chain of shoes.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the new programs are a blast for the government, which will invest another $ 4 million in product stewardship. “We believe that our product stewardship programs are a real highlight, which is why we have now financed 19 projects with a volume of 14.6 million US dollars and founded the Product Stewardship Center of Excellence.
“This additional funding means that we can create more capacity in the recycling sector and thus more brands take on more responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of their products.”
ASGA President Andrew Reed commented, “This is a milestone for the Australian sporting goods industry and its stakeholders as we can now collectively accelerate investments in a greener future, a critical area in ASGA’s strategic direction.
The investment made through the federal government grant is a huge step forward that will enable significant growth in ASGA’s Save Our Soles shoe recycling program. This will place members nationally in a stronger position to meet their sustainability goals while meeting Australian consumer demands by providing an easily accessible solution for recycling their beloved athletic shoes. “
ASGA Executive Director, Shaun Bajada, is thrilled to see the sporting goods and active lifestyle industries work together to address this immediate waste problem.
Bajada adds, “Our industry is committed to building a long-term, sustainable shoe recycling solution that benefits our planet and community. I am incredibly proud of our members who have helped ASGA create a truly circular platform for shoe recycling. “
Consumers can conveniently hand in popular shoes such as sporty lifestyle shoes, sneakers, soccer shoes, hiking shoes, golf shoes, thongs and slippers at the ASGA retail partners.
For more information about the program and to find a collection point near you, visit asgasosinitiative.com.au.
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