The ASGA Save Our Soles initiative, a program that recovers and recycles tired, unwanted sports shoes, has received an Australian government grant through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF).

The grant will help grow the industry-funded take-back program, which was prompted by a successful launch in 2019 as a pilot program in Victoria. The initiative has already led to the collection of over 100,000 pairs of shoes for recycling.

ASGA has collaborated with major sporting goods brands and renowned retailers including Nike, adidas, Asics, Converse, Super Retail Group, JD Sports, and Accent Group, to close the loop in the Australian footwear product life cycle chain.

ASGA president, Andrew Reed said, “This is a landmark day for the Australian Sporting Goods Industry and its stakeholders, as we are now collectively able to accelerate investment towards a more environmentally sustainable future, a critical area of ASGA’s strategic focus.

“The investment made by the government’s grant is a great step forward that will enable significant growth in ASGA’s Save Our Soles footwear recycling program. This 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 sports shoes.”

ASGA executive director, Shaun Bajada is thrilled to see the sporting goods and active lifestyle industry work together to tackle this immediate waste problem.

“Our industry is committed to building a long-term sustainable footwear recycling solution that will benefit our planet and the community. I am incredibly proud of our members who have helped ASGA create a truly circular footwear recycling platform,” he said.

The program aims to reduce the volume of footwear sent to landfill each year by developing a scalable model for sports shoe recycling Australia-wide. This model involves repurposing pre-loved sports shoes and transforming them into gym mats, retail flooring, playground, and sporting exteriors.

Consumers can conveniently drop off preloved shoes such as athletic lifestyle shoes, sneakers, football boots, hiking boots, golf shoes, thongs, and slides to ASGA retail partners.