Donating, Repair and Recycling: What to Do with Your Old Glasses (Part II)


Repair them

Instead of tossing your broken glasses you can always fix them.

Wear and tear on your glasses is going to happen after wearing them for a while. They may have loose hinges, bent arms, or missing nose pads. Your eye doctor might be able to repair your glasses for you or tell you where to get them fixed. If you know how to, you can attempt to repair them yourself. You’ll need certain tools to work with the little hinges and screws. However, it’s a skill that’s easy to learn.

Donate them

While some reuse eyeglass programs do have their flaws, some initiatives are doing good work to get the most out of used eyeglasses. New Eyes takes old glasses in the US, recycles and distributes them to vision-impaired individuals who can’t afford their own eyeglasses. The program distributes over 70% of their donations. Lions Club also has a reuse initiative in countries including South Africa, Australia, Canada, Spain, and Italy. This organization is said to recycle around 35% of all donations. If you’re in Australia, you can drop off your old glasses to Specsavers stores where they will be passed on for reuse.

Recycle them

Glasses are made up of many different materials. The lenses are typically made from plastic and the frames might be made from plastic, aluminum, steel, or gold. This makes it hard to recycle them. That said, some organizations have programs that can break down glasses and recycle the bare materials.

If your frames are made from aluminum, they can be recycled substantially. In order to recycle them, you’ll have to break apart your glasses into bare materials. You might be able to throw the aluminum part in with your curbside recycling if it is put in a bigger aluminum container.

Imagine if we all kept our glasses out of a landfill. Now, that’s a vision!

Donating and Recycling: What to Do with Your Old Glasses (Part I) 

Your old glasses can be recycled.

Maybe you’ve recently gone for an eye test and your prescription has changed. Perhaps your frames or lenses have cracked or bent out of shape, or you just want a different style. Regardless of the reason, you now have an old pair of glasses on your hands. So, what can you do to avoid sending them to a landfill?

In the US, over 60% of adults wear vision corrective glasses. And in East Asia, this percentage is greater. Between 75 and 85 percent of 18-year-olds in Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea have myopia, a condition causing complicatedness with long-distance vision.

Considering that many of us upgrade our glasses once every two years at least, the amount of unused eyeglasses ending up in landfill is increasing in record numbers.

Before Buying Your Glasses

The first and most critical way to diminish waste from eyewear is to pick the right glasses from the start and make them last. While we can’t do anything if our prescription changes or if our glasses have been killed by accidental crushing, there are a couple of things we can do to increase their lifespan.

Pick quality glasses that will last. They may cost a little more, but if you can make them last longer than you would a cheap pair, you will most likely get your money’s worth in the long run.

Get second-hand frames from a vintage store or thrift shop. Instead of getting into the idea of having the latest frames, why not pick frames that already exist?

Avoid trends. Select glasses that fit your personal style and that you’ll love for a long time instead of buying “what’s hot.”

Use a protective case always to avoid dents, cracks, and scratches.

Pick frames made from a recyclable material such as aluminum or steel.