Sports retailers sign up to government-funded footwear recycling program

Footwear recycling program ASGA Save Soles has received an Australian Government grant, allowing sports retailers to sign up to close the loop in the Australian footwear product life cycle chain.

Through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF), the grant will see an additional $4 million in product stewardship funding, helping the growth of ASGA.

“We think that our product stewardship programs are ace,” Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment, said. “That is why we have now funded 19 projects to the tune of $14.6 million and established the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.

“This additional funding means we can create greater capacity in the recycling sector and with that, we will see more brands taking greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of their products.”

Through the program, consumers can drop off their unwanted sports shoes to ASGA retail partners for recycling and repurposing. These preloved-footwear will then be transformed into gym mats, retail flooring, playground, and sporting exteriors.

Launched in 2019 as a pilot program in Victoria, the initiative partners with major footwear retailers, including Nike, Adidas, Converse, JD Sports, New Balance and Accent Group, and has collected more than 100,000 pairs of shoes for recycling.

“[The investment] will have members in a stronger position nationally to achieve their sustainability objectives, while importantly meeting Australian consumer demands, by providing an easily accessible solution to recycling their pre-loved sports shoes,” Andrew Reed, president of ASGA, said.

This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail.