Ever Wondered About Recycling Glasses and Contacts?

April 03, 2023

eyeglasses for recycling

Are you concerned about your old pre-loved glasses ending up in landfill, or about the use of plastics in daily contact lenses? 

The good news is that there are many ways to recycle or repurpose your old glasses. And you might be surprised to learn how little plastic your contact lenses contain, and how suppliers are working on more sustainable solutions.  

Here’s how.

Reusing and recycling your specs

At You&Eye Optical, we make it easy for you to reuse and recycle your old glasses. 

We offer a Lions Club box so you can donate your old specs to charity. The Lions Club collects and refurbishes glasses for delivery to developing countries as part of the Sight Australia program. 

You can also recycle your eyewear easily with our Zero Waste box. You can bring in old glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses and even ski goggles! We also offer a Zero Waste box for contacts.

You might also want to consider how you can repurpose your old spectacle cases – for example you could use them to store jewellery or other small items. They could also make a good addition to a kids’ toy box!

Helping neutralise plastics use for contact lenses

The packaging used in contact lenses is recyclable, but contact lenses themselves are generally too small for your recycling bin at home. You can bring them in to our Zero Waste box or throw them in the general waste bin at home. Just make sure you don’t wash them down the sink where they can impact marine life!

Fortunately, contact lenses are much thinner than you might realise, often under 1/10 of a mm in the middle. They are like little sponges filled with around 70% water, depending on the brand. So they involve the use of very little plastic – about the size of a credit card for a whole year’s worth of lenses. 

Plastic has many positive uses in healthcare delivery and has helped bring about advancements in the industry. However, it remains important to reduce the impact of single-use plastics as much as possible. 

Some suppliers are working on ways to limit the impact of single use lenses. We offer lenses from Coopervision for example, which are plastic neutral.

Coopervision has an agreement to purchase credits from Plastic Bank, to enable the removal of plastic from our oceans equal to the amount used in the company’s products. This scheme helps to offset the effect of plastic use. 

If you would you like to find out more about moving to more sustainable contact lenses, get in touch to book an appointment for an eye check – and bring your old specs in as well!

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If you have any question call us on: 02 9233 6299