Whether it’s an updated prescription or an updated trend, getting new glasses is inevitable for the 166.5 million Americans who rely on prescription eyewear. Not to mention the 223.5 who regularly don sunglasses (The Vision Council).
Without the proper education and systems in place, that’s a lot of eyewear that can easily become destined for a landfill. For those not sure what to do with old glasses, Close the Loop is here to guide the way towards a more sustainable solution.
The simple answer is…well, not so simple. Recycling glasses is possible, but it can be a bit complicated. Because of how eyeglasses are constructed, some elements are easily recyclable while others are trickier. Glass is notoriously easy to recycle — if the lenses are made of glass, they can be popped out and recycled with other glass.
But these days, the term “glasses” is a bit of a misnomer since most lenses are an amalgamation of plastic. Many frames today are made from plastic and often contain smaller mechanical parts that can be difficult to recycle correctly.
The best thing to do is find other ways to elongate their life. This leads us to the question…
Okay, so now we know it’s tricky to simply recycle glasses. Luckily, there are a couple of other things you can encourage consumers to do with their old eye- or sunglasses.
Donate Them. With so many people who need vision support, donating wearable glasses can help someone. Check out this list of eyeglass donation sites, and then think about how you and your customers could support this mission.
Reuse Them. If customers still love their frames and simply need to adjust for a new prescription or want to upgrade lenses, it’s easy to encourage them to ask an optometrist to swap the lenses out (otherwise known as reglazing).
Upcycle Them. If frames are in good condition, you can begin a take-back program and upcycle them into other products. After all, why should they go into the trash if they still have plenty of life left?
READ: How Corporate Take-Back Programs Make a Difference.
Consumers are increasingly looking for product options that promote sustainable solutions, including recycling and upcycling potential. It can be overwhelming if you’re looking to offer that to your customers. That’s where we come in.
Our recommendation is to rely on a partner who knows how to accurately and efficiently recycle. At Close the Loop, we are happy to be your trusted partner to help soften your environmental impact.
READ: 5 Things You Want From a Sustainability Partner.
Since opening its doors in 2001, Close the Loop has worked tirelessly to preserve our beautiful planet and do our part to divert waste from growing landfills. From recycling glasses to properly disposing of cosmetics to our unique packaging options, we handle your corporate sustainability needs with ease, efficiency, commitment, and care.
Learn more about our outstanding team and our range of services. Then become a part of the Loop!