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The LIA Introduces Better Bins

Published on | Low Impact Alliance | News & Updates

The Better Bins product recycling program is one of the latest initiatives of the LIA (Low Impact Alliance). Partnering with Recover, Sneaker Impact, and GU/TerraCycle, the LIA has created a one-stop recycling center for use in local run specialty shops.
Better bins

The LIA is a running industry collective made up of retailers, brands, events, and athletes throughout the world, committed to acting and advocating for environmental responsibility throughout all facets of the running industry. In 2021 the creation of the LIA was inspired by the lack of initiatives, transparency, and value on sustainability in the industry. An estimated 22 billion shoes end up in landfills every year, and Americans alone throw away more than 81 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year. Running shoes, clothing and accessories are also extremely energy intensive to make, can take hundreds of years to break down and cause pollution throughout the manufacturing process. The LIA and its members feel that it is their responsibility as consumers, retailers, and people to care about the planet and how they are treating it. 

One of the LIA’s founders, Christian Fyfe, explains that the alliance is to “call people in instead of calling people out” to start tackling the big issues with small change. The aim is to educate, advocate, and inspire change within the global running community.

The Better Bins recycling center equips retailers with the opportunity to provide their consumers a place to recycle shoes, clothing, socks, and nutrition. This allows individuals to recycle nutrition packets, clothing, socks, and shoes. The goal is not only to divert these products from landfills but also get consumers comfortable with the concept of recycling, diverting, and thinking about where their products are coming from and ending up.

The Better Bins pilot program launched in February with bins in 15 storefronts, which include: Rochester Running Co (NY), Brooklyn Running Company (NY), Run Hub Northwest (OR), The Exchange Running Collective (TN), Palmetto Running (SC), A Runner's Mind (CA), Get Fit (TX), West Stride (GA), Red Coyote Running Co (OK), and Run In (SC). The program is free to retailers and intended to grow to allow any interested run specialty shop to obtain the Better Bins.

“We are so excited to roll out this program and see how this program develops in the coming years as the marketplace adapts to a more circular and sustainable economy,” said Calista Ariel, the coordinator of the Better Bins Program.

If you are interested in learning more about the LIA and signing up to be on the waitlist for the Better Bins program, go to

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