One out of every four Americans wears eyeglasses today, and they wear them for numerous reasons. Some are for mere fashion, and others wear it because of eye conditions.
Once you’re tired or bored of wearing glasses, you go ahead and dump them. Then, go ahead and buy a new pair of glasses.
It is the general process that continues to happen most of the time. It bothers me when you don’t think much about what might happen to the glasses. Have you ever thought about recycling eyeglasses? Can you use the eyeglasses for different purposes? Can the lenses of the eyeglasses be recycled?
The eyeglasses can and cannot be recycled. The probability of them being recyclable depends highly on the material they are composed of. We will explain it in detail moving ahead in the blog.
Today, we will answer all your questions through this blog. We will answer all your eyeglasses-related queries and how you can exactly recycle and reuse old eyeglasses.
Are eyeglasses recyclable?
So, are glasses recyclable?
You can and cannot recycle eyeglasses. The answer is yes and no. Usually, glasses are not the most highly recyclable product.
It has a higher chance of not passing the recycling test depending on the material they are composed of. You can use them again, numerous times.
Let me explain it to you in a much easier way.
Eyeglasses are made from various materials. The different parts of an eyeglass are made from other materials. For instance, the lenses are made from plastic, which is recyclable (most of the time). The frames are aluminum, gold, or steel and can be recycled. So if you take into account these parts of an eyeglass, then you can say that eyeglasses are recyclable.
Can you recycle eyeglass lenses?
Now, finding out whether or not you can recycle glasses lenses is a very crucial step. The answer to this question is YES. Yes, you can recycle eyeglass lenses.
Here is a quick brief of what glass lenses are and what they are composed of:
Glass lenses are magnifying glass items that sit on the bridge of your nose. They are the essential part of an eyeglass. The lenses are made from plastic, and as you already are familiar with our articles, plastics are biodegradable as well.
Hence, every product made from plastic is recyclable. So, putting it straight away, glass lenses are recyclable.
How can you recycle eyeglasses?
There are numerous ways of recycling and reusing eyeglasses. You can go for any of these two methods to dispose of/reuse your old glasses, reduce waste creation and save the environment.
Here are a few ways you can recycle/reuse eyeglasses.
- Please search for a recycling center:
Numerous recycling centers accept old and used eyeglasses and recycle them.
One fantastic recycling center that accepts used eyeglasses and sunglasses is the Prevention of Blindness Society (POB).
POB collects glasses for Celebrity Specs.
Celebrity Specs is an awareness program with eyeglasses and sunglasses with autographed pictures. Celebrities and personalities donate these.
- Lions club international
Lions Club International is another eyeglasses recycling center to send your used glasses for processing. The glasses are then separated into the categories of usable or unusable glasses, are further processed, and are sent out to be distributed across the world on various donation and recycling programs.
They help to reduce landfill waste through metal reclamation and processing the damaged glasses that are unusable.
Few other lions international recycling centers locations are:
Republic of South Africa
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
- Donate it to the needy
You can always donate your eyeglasses. Some people cannot afford to purchase new eyeglasses. This is the reason why there are numerous charity organizations available today. These charitable organizations collect glasses and donate them to the poor and needy.
If you choose to use the donating option rather than recycling, look for a dropbox at the retail outlet, an ophthalmologist’s office, or a local charity center.
You can also go through the charitable organization’s website and courier the glasses to them at the mentioned address on the website.
- Take them to an optician.
If you want to donate it but don’t have a possibility of sending your glasses to the charity or recycling center, then you can go ahead and search for opticians who accept used eyeglasses.
The opticians usually recycle such glasses and sell them further to new customers. You can give this a try too.
- Reuse your glasses
You can reuse your glasses. It is a perfect option if you have no means to replace your glasses. Reusing your glasses can help you avoid recycling them. If your eyeglasses are damaged or broken, then you can get them repaired by your nearest optician. You can also search a Youtube tutorial and get it repaired at your home.
There are a ton of tutorials on Youtube. Go ahead and search for “how to repair broken eyeglasses” or any such similar keywords, and you will get your solution.
- Sell your glasses
Before moving ahead to make a sale, ensure that your glasses are in good condition or in need to be sold. You can go along on platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace to put your glasses on sale and make good money out of it. This way, you can also help someone who needs glasses at a very low price.
- Retain the frame and fit in some new glass
If you want to retain your frame because you are too attached to it and feel that no other frame will sit best on your face as this one does, then go ahead and change the lenses only. Get your old lenses replaced with new ones and use them.
How do I dispose of old prescribed glasses?
If you have been using prescribed glasses for a while now, then here are three things you can do to replace or dispose of your glasses and donate them to help someone see the world.
– Donate it to someone who needs glasses by replacing the prescribed frame.
– Donate it to your eye optician
– You can exchange your old prescribed eyeglasses and get a new one for half the price
Here are a few benefits of recycling/donating your old prescribed glasses:
– Sustainable environment and waste reduction
– Helping nature and other humans by donating and giving something back other than money.
– Teaching people the importance of being charitable.
The donation centers ensure that every eyeglass you donate is used for the good and most effective. You can also recycle glasses by all means.
Is it worth it to donate eyeglasses?
The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
Yes, as people now have no access to reasonable eye care solutions, donating eyeglasses to them can help them save their eyes to some extent. Also, glasses in the U.S are pretty expensive.
No, as every person has their individual needs and may have to get tested before settling to use an eyeglass. If the eyeglasses are not of the right type that they require, it can lead to more damage than good.
However, if you have reading glasses that are no longer valuable, you can donate those after properly sanitizing them.
The lion’s club has been making these donations for decades. We would recommend you head over to a good and reputed eyeglass charitable organization not to be a victim of any mishap.
What to do with old eyeglass cases?
Now that you know how to recycle and reuse eyeglasses let’s talk about how to reuse old eyeglass cases. Eyeglass cases are used in many households for various purposes. You can use your creativity in using these cases in different ways.
1. Jewelry holder:
You can use your eyeglass case as a jewelry holder. They are best to store tiny jewelry such as small earrings or finger rings—a cute old eyeglass case for all your pretty jewels.
2. Sewing kit:
This is when you store needles and threads for sewing purposes in your eyeglass holder. You can also paint the outer part of your eyeglass holder to make it look better and chic. Make use of your eyeglass case as a travel sewing kit. You can take it anywhere and everywhere.
The eyeglass case also acts as a cute clutch where you can store your cash, cards, lip-gloss, etc.
4. iPod/earpod storage:
you can also store little devices such as ear pods, earphones, and iPods in the old eyeglass cases.
How to recycle Sunglasses?
You heard it right; sunglasses are recyclable. The composition of sunglasses has made this possible. Sunglasses are usually the lenses and the frames. They are mostly made up of disposable plastic.
Here are a few ways how you can recycle/reuse your sunglasses:
1. Store them for special occasions
How annoying is it when you can’t find the right sunglasses that go with your outfit? Don’t panic. To save yourself from such a mishap, keep your old sunglasses for that special occasion.
Plus point: It will also save you a lot of money as you won’t go out to get a new pair of sunglasses.
2. Gift the sunglasses
Your small act of kindness can put a big smile on the faces of your friends, family members, neighbors, or even a person who needs sunglasses. Before giving them, ensure that they are in good to use condition.
3. Change the lenses
You can always replace the old lenses of your sunglasses and rebrand them to use again. As per the sunglasses that you are using, change the lenses. You can get it done by visiting a sunglass repair center.
Sunglasses are totally in fashion. However, they can also harm the environment if they are used and disposed of properly. Therefore, you should take utmost care in disposing of them so that it’s not an issue for a longer time.
People tend to ignore the disposal of eyeglasses as they are not dangerous to the environment. We know that eyeglasses are used by every single person today, and it is also why many people are interested in learning how to dispose of eyeglasses.
Now, you know every little detail about eyeglasses, and it’s you to decide what action you would like to take. However, we would always recommend you to find eco-friendly ways of disposing of your glasses and cases.