How to Recycle Old Glasses

Do you have a pair of old glasses squirrelled away at the back of a drawer? You’re not alone. According to a 2020 survey, it’s estimated that 77% of UK women and 68% of UK men wear glasses or contact lenses. It’s also very likely that these wearers will have more than one pair in their lifetime. We’ll get into why in a bit. But what exactly should you do with an old pair of glasses that no longer meet your prescription needs? Or glasses that have been damaged? The most sustainable solution is to recycle them. We’ll be going through everything you need to know about how to recycle old glasses in the UK.

Why Should I Recycle My Glasses?

So, why exactly should we recycle our glasses? As mentioned above, it’s highly likely that glasses-wearers will have more than one pair in their lifetime. This is because our vision correction requirements change as we get older. The result of this is a mini-collection of old glasses building up in our cupboards, often getting forgotten.
It can be a bit difficult to know what to do with them, as it’s not widely advertised what to do with old pairs. But the answer is simple - recycle. Eyeglasses are made from non-biodegradable materials, like plastics and metals. They also contain harmful micro-plastics that can pollute the environment. These materials mean that they’re not suitable to throw away into household rubbish or go into landfill. A sustainable approach is required here. Restoring them or recycling them for their parts is a far more earth-friendly solution to clearing out your old pairs.
But it’s important to know that eyeglasses aren’t suitable for household recycling that gets picked up by your local authorities. They simply don’t have the resources or means to deal with them. So what exactly do you do next?

How to Recycle Old Glasses

When it comes to how to recycle your old glasses, it’s a matter of doing a little bit of research. Here’s what you can do:
Check your local recycling centre to see if they’re accepted.
Check local charities if you’re able to donate to them.
Trade in with us. More on this in a bit!
    As you can see, recycling old glasses takes a specialist approach. But the good news is that there are lots of options to choose from. Let’s explore these further.

    Where to Recycle Glasses

    There are lots of places where you can recycle your old eyeglasses. Here’s some of our top recommendations:
    Fashion Eyewear! Our trade-in programme will take in your old frames for you. Upon inspection, we’ll either restore or recycle them. We’ll also give you credit towards your next order with us! All you need to do is fill in our quick form, and we’ll send you a prepaid shipping label. Simply pop your old glasses in the post, and we’ll take things from there.

    Some recycling centres have points to drop off your old glasses. You’ll need to check with your council if these are available locally. We recommend doing a quick search on your local authority website or giving them a call.

    Honouring our returns policy, we also donate all returned prescription frames to Vision Action – a charity working with everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity and geographical location to try to give affordable eye care services and prescription glasses. If you would like to donate, we are an official donation base in Chiswick, London.