5 ways to recycle your spectacles
In the U.K., approximately 65 percent of the population requires vision correction, with 60 percent choosing to wear glasses to correct their vision and 11 percent choosing contact lenses, either alone or with glasses.
Since so many of us wear spectacles and have annual eye tests, it is not uncommon for glasses to become ineffective within a year for individuals for whom they were made.
Many old pairs of prescription glasses lurk in back drawers in households across the country.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss where to recycle spectacles – whether they’re reading glasses or prescription glasses.
1. Take your glasses to your optician
The most common way to recycle used spectacles is to have a recycling box at your local optician.
Specsavers, Vision Express, and Boots Opticians, among others, work with charities to provide optical training and sight care to people in developing countries.
Donated spectacles are sometimes sent abroad to be used by those in need with matching prescriptions, but others recycle the glasses and use the funds raised to support eye care and sight research.
2. Drop your glasses at a charity shop
Donations of sunglasses, prescription glasses, and reading glasses are accepted by some charity shops.
Call your local charity shop before you donate eyeglasses if you’re unsure if they accept them.
In the event that your local shop does not accept donations of specs, you can send them to some charities instead.
The Lions Club, for example, collects old glasses at its clubs throughout the country; however, if you don’t live near one, you can mail your spectacles directly to them.
For reuse, the Club sorts through the eyeglasses it receives, grades them, and sends them to eye clinics in places such as Nepal and Ghana.
3. Reuse your glasses
Isn’t it better to re-use your glasses instead of sending them for recycling? Even though this service is not heavily advertised, most opticians can fit new lenses into old frames.
As well as being more environmentally friendly, keeping your favorite frames would be cheaper for you than buying new ones.
Take the lenses to an online optician if your usual optician does not offer this service. If your usual optician does not offer this service, take the frames elsewhere.
4. Sell your glasses
If your prescription changes, you can sell your old glasses and use the money to buy a new pair.
Depop and eBay are good places to start; designer spectacles sell particularly well because many people love a designer bargain.
In case your prescription matches a buyer’s, you might include it in the listing; however, most buyers will expect to buy the frames and then get their prescription lenses fitted.
If you are worried about damaging your frames, don’t try to remove the lenses yourself — an expert will do it in seconds with professional equipment while fitting the new lenses.
5. Gift your glasses to family or friends
If you have old glasses that you no longer wear but a family member or friend needs glasses for their sight, you could offer them your old pair.
However, they will still have to pay for new lenses (unless their prescription matches yours), but they will still save a lot of money on the frames.