In 2007, Americans purchased 2.4 billion (not million, billion!) pairs of shoes. That’s on average, 8 pairs of shoes per person each year. Although it was difficult to find an exact number on how many were actually thrown away, one can guestimate from that number and from knowing that Americans love to have the newest and next best thing (hello 10 versions of the iPod) for everything, you can imagine that many of the 2.4 billion pairs end up in the landfill. If not, they’re probably recycled to friends and family, younger brothers and sisters, but all in all, eventually wind up in the trash.
Americans throw away over 300 million pairs of shoes or more each year according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. Shoes4Souls is a non-profit group that attempts to collect these shoes and distribute them to the over 3 million children across the world that have never had a pair of shoes due to poverty.
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