Recycling with Sole


According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. Nashville, Tenn.-based Soles4Souls is an international non-profit dedicated to diverting usable shoes from landfills and redistributing them to people in need.

Astonishingly, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the number of children around the world who have never owned a pair of shoes also equals 300 million. In fact, it’s one of the primary benchmarks the agency uses to denote “abject poverty,” the most severe level of poverty on USAID’s scale. Those who live in abject poverty are defined as being “without hope.”

A small percentage of shoes collected every year are too worn to be repurposed and are recycled into athletic flooring. None of the shoes received by the charity are thrown away.

Analysis: This article outlines why we should be recycling our old shoes. It shows how an old pair of shoes can enhance the life of a less fortunate person and if the shoe is too worn out then it can find another purpose in athletic flooring. In this model nothing goes to waste or ends up in a landfill.