You certainly have piles of shoes that are no longer used. Whether it’s because the physical condition is not suitable for use, too small, or even you don’t like it anymore. However, you are confused about how to handle unused shoes so they don’t pile up or become trash. The following are some tips that you can follow to deal with it.

Don’t Throw Shoes Carelessly

Did you know that the production of shoes around the world on average reaches 22 billion pairs! According to data retrieved by Statista, Asia is responsible for 88% of the world’s shoe production in 2021. Unfortunately, out of the many shoes produced, around 300 million pairs are discarded. And when shoes go to landfill, it takes 30-40 years for them to decompose. Even for shoes made of rubber, it takes about 80 years for it to decompose.

Several studies have also shown that the shoe industry contributes 1.4% of global emissions. Making the industry one of the biggest polluters on earth. This is because shoe manufacturers use materials and production processes that produce large pollution. The different materials used in shoes also make them difficult to recycle or decompose.

Not a few also deal with used shoe waste by simply throwing it away at the landfill, or burning it. Toxic chemicals produced in these two ways then pollute the soil, water, and even the air. That is the reason why it is very important to handle unused shoes in the right way.

Tips for Handling Unused Shoes

1. Recycling or Upcycling
Recycling used shoes must be done in a special place, such as a shoe repair shop. If the damaged shoes cannot be repaired, the materials in the shoes can be used for recycling.

Shoe soles are usually made of rubber and can still be used after the shoes wear out. It can be melted down and reused to create new products. Apart from rubber, the shoes that we wear everyday are also usually made from a mixture of various plastics. It can also be used for recycling into new products.

2. Donate
This method can be said to be more effective in dealing with shoes that are no longer used, rather than recycling. There are various organizations that accept donations of used shoes that are still usable.

When donating shoes, just make sure they are in good condition⁠, no cracks, tears, or very worn out soles. Some donation centers may have quite detailed criteria, bearing in mind that the shoes donated must be reusable by other people.

3. Exchange or Sell
Swapping with your friends can be a pretty effective way to deal with shoes that pile up unused. You can have a small exchange of shoes with them. If exchanging shoes is not possible, you can still sell them at thrift shops that accept used shoes. Just like donating, make sure your shoes are still in good condition to be sold or exchanged.