Boot recycling campaign a success

TOTALLY Workwear's work boot recycling campaign has kicked off successfully with more than 1200 pairs of boots collected across stores nationally in the eight weeks since the initiative was launched.

The result equates to more than 1.2 tonnes of recyclable materials kept out of landfill which will now be transformed into rubber matting to be used across the 52 Totally Workwear stores Australia-wide.

The campaign is thanks to a partnership with not-for-profit environmental organisation Save our Souls and is the first of its kind in Australia, giving tradies the opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint.

Director of Save Our Soles, John Elliott said the results were extremely pleasing but there is more to be done.

"Three million pairs of work boots are sold each year in Australia and unfortunately a large percentage end up in the garbage," he said.

"That's close to 3000 tonnes of material that could be recycled into something useful and kept out of landfill.

"Our aim is to continue to get as many tradies recycling their boots as possible and help reduce our environmental footprint," he said.

The program has gained widespread attention and Totally Workwear is now turning its attention to local councils and businesses to give the campaign a boost.

Totally Workwear Marketing Manager Liz Wardle said tradesmen often work in harsh and demanding environments, so they need to change their footwear about every six months to keep safe and comfortable.

"We'd love to see tradies in our stores every six months recycling their boots instead of throwing them in the bin. The results show that we're definitely on our way."

Following the success of the launch, special recycling bins will be a permanent fixture so tradies will be able to recycle their boots at their local Totally Workwear store anytime they like.

International footwear recycling programs have helped reduce landfill over the years, creating a vast range of reusable products such as matting for children's playgrounds and child cares, store and gym matting, and tyres. 

Save our Soles Australia aims to do the same locally, with a vision to one day have all Australians recycle their footwear.

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