Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program Grinds to a Halt in Britain
It’s now considerably more difficult to have worn-out sneakers recycled in Britain, as Nike have discontinued their Reuse-A-Shoe program in the geopolitical region, citing rising operating costs following Brexit.
UK customers were once able to drop off their worn-out sneakers at most Nike retail stores for recycling, where they were then sent to facilities in Belgium to be ground down. The raw material would then be used to make durable flooring surfaces, or even new sneakers, such as the Space Hippie series.
As reported by The Guardian, Britain’s exit from the European Union – aka Brexit – had made the Reuse-A-Shoe approximately a third more expensive to operate. Direct effects of Brexit, such as new export tariffs into the EU have impacted costs, plus other factors including rising fuel prices and the ongoing effects of the global pandemic have likely also played a role.
In a statement to The Guardian, a Nike spokesperson confirmed the Reuse-A-Shoe program is ‘currently not available in the UK’, which had already been suspended there since mid-2020 due to retail having temporarily closed.
Nike Reuse-A-Shoe was first launched circa 1992 and is still available in many regions around the world. Eco-conscious sneakerheads are still currently able to collect free recycling bags from Nike stores in the UK, but the retailers are no longer covering freight costs to the aforementioned Belgium facilities. Customers will now instead have to pay for shipping themselves.
However, there are some other places to donate unwanted sneakers in reasonable condition. Learn more about that here.