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Australians Have More Than 100 Million Shoes Stowed Away

New research shows that Australians own over 100 million pairs of shoes they don't wear and could recycle.

Turns out Aussies are hoarding high heels and sneaking away sneakers.

According to TreadLightly, a nationwide recycling campaign, the average Australian has roughly five pairs of shoes they don't wear.

I think you’ll find I do wear my Croc heels, it’s just hard to find the right occasion.

High Heels Crocs Sticker by Jessica for iOS & Android | GIPHY

Nearly a quarter (24%) of the more than 1000 1000 people surveyed keep the shoes for "rainy days or nostalgic reasons," while more than half (51%) toss them in the trash.

Although not reflected in the research, other people must be like me in keeping shoes for another reason: because I once again made a failed internet purchase and I refuse to get rid of them out of spite. I put them at the back of my cupboard hoping my feet magically shrink half a size or I meet a PT with a focus on foot weight loss.

At least I can somewhat blame my gender for any bad habits. Women are more likely than men to collect shoes they don't wear, keeping an average of seven pairs compared to three for men.

This explains why I once saw a man wear Converse lace-ups to weddings; he forgot to hoard a formal shoe.

meryl streep ugly shoes GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Australians are being urged to do their part to help the environment by recycling the estimated 100 million pairs of unworn shoes in the country.

TreadLightly, which is run by the Australian Sporting Goods Association with federal government assistance, is asking Australians to help it meet its goal of recycling one million pairs of shoes by 2023.

It’s a vital goal when you consider that shoe parts can take over 1000 years to decompose in landfills when they could instead be recycled into mats and floors for use in stores, gyms, and playgrounds.

So next time you look deep in your shoe rack, be honest with yourself. Do you really need that third pair of Havaiana thongs? No, that’s the easy one to admit.

The much harder thing to admit is that you never need that pair of Fila Disrupters – they were cool for about two weeks and you got caught up in the craze. They are never coming back into fashion, they were barely in fashion to begin with. There is one place they belong and it’s catching sweat on the floor of a gym.