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.



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