A growing number of people are washing their sneakers every time they walk, according to a new study.
In fact, nearly one-quarter of U.S. adults do not wash their sneakers, according a survey by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
The findings come amid an intensifying debate over how to best protect the environment, and many of the shoes have become a source of frustration for many consumers.
The research found that nearly one in four U.K. adults said they did not wash shoes every time, according the study published online Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
About 10 percent of respondents said they washed their shoes only when wearing shoes made from recycled material, while another 9 percent said they didn’t wash shoes at all.
A similar number of respondents in the United States said they were never washing shoes at home, according research by the American Lung Association (ALA).
Only about 6 percent of the respondents said the shoe industry was responsible for the lack of cleaning in the U.H.A. said the poll showed Americans were concerned about the environmental impact of the footwear industry.
While many of those polled said they had not cleaned their sneakers or worn them for more than 30 minutes in the past 24 hours, the poll also found that most respondents thought cleaning sneakers was a good idea.
“A shoe industry that is willing to spend time cleaning sneakers is more likely to be doing so for environmental reasons than those who simply do not want to,” the study’s lead author, Jennifer Karpowitz, said in a statement.
“Most Americans think that if they wear shoes made in a recycled material the environment will be better,” she added.
“The question is whether it is actually going to be better for the environment.”
The poll also showed that most Americans said the industry should make more environmental efforts, rather than just cleaning sneakers.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans said it was important to make environmental initiatives at the shoe company and retail level, while 41 percent said it should be about making sure shoes are made in environmentally friendly materials.
The study also found an uptick in people not washing their shoes on their own.
About 6 percent said washing their own shoes was not important.
About one in five respondents in Canada said they never wash their shoes, compared to fewer than 10 percent in the rest of the world.
The findings also showed Americans are more likely than others to be concerned about their health.
More than half of respondents to the poll said they worry about their weight, compared with fewer than 3 percent in Canada.
More people in the world also said they think the shoe manufacturing process is dangerous.
More of those surveyed in Canada than the U, however, said they do not worry about a link between the manufacture of shoes and cancer.
The poll found that a majority of people in Canada (62 percent) and the U (57 percent) said that the manufacture and sale of shoes were a good thing.
But there was a significant divide between the two countries.
In Canada, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents told the pollsters they did support the use of government regulations to protect the planet.
The results of the poll were based on a representative sample of 1,000 U.I.D. readers who are members of the E.H., E.L.O. and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The survey also had a sample of 602 adults from the United Kingdom and France.