Spectacle & Contact Lens Recycling Update
Vision Action, ACUVUE® and TerraCycle® & Lions International
Our continued commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling, and partnering with organisations supporting those in need.
2014 – Since we first opened in January 2014, we have partnered with Vision Aid Overseas, a charity dedicated to fighting poverty by transforming access to eye care and spectacles in developing countries. 670 million people around the world (nearly 10% of the world’s population) are disabled or disadvantaged because they do not have access to eye care and spectacles. Until late 2020, Vision Aid Overseas also collected used spectacles for their work, something they have recently discontinued as they adopt a new vision strategy and rebrand. We have since been looking for an additional organisation with whom we could continue to send our collected used spectacles for recycling.
2018 – In 2018 we added a new partnership with ACUVUE® and TerraCycle® with the Contact Lens Recycle Programme. Given that over 90% of contact lenses & packaging are not currently recycled, we were keen to do our bit to enable patients and non-patients alike the opportunity to hand in their used contact lenses, blister packs and packaging so they can be recycled.
2022 – In light of the changes within Vision Aid Overseas in 2022 we started a new partnership with Lions International who also collect used spectacles for reuse and recycling in developing countries.
Vision Aid Overseas is changing – changing lives of those in low to middle income countries to see clearly – and we have been changing those lives for over 30 years!
Now we are changing too! To help us keep transforming lives whilst supporting long term sustainable programmes, Vision Aid Overseas is evolving into Vision Action.
With action we can all help to create affordable eye care services; support people living with poor eyesight and reach those in the remotest of areas – making sure that no one is left behind.
We are here for a clearer future: Vision Action will keep supporting countries to build Vision centres, to train the next generations of teachers and eye care professionals, and to keep ensuring that schools and communities have access to the eye care they need – being able to see shouldn’t be a luxury – it’s an absolute must!
Spectacle Lens Recycling with Lions International
Since 1925, Lions International has been a champion in helping combat vision impairment and blindness.
Lions Clubs throughout the UK collect unwanted and damaged spectacles. These are then sent to Chichester Lions Club which processes tens of thousands of recycled spectacles each year. All donations are examined by a team of Lions and other volunteers in the recycling workshop. Sorted pairs of glasses may then be sent for grading and distribution by Medico France in Le Havre.
Chichester Lions Club sends spectacles directly to contacts running eye clinics in Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria, and Nepal. In addition, volunteers from the Unite for Sight charity are supplied with spectacles to take with them on missions to countries across the world.
Lions Club National Headquarters in Birmingham sends spectacles to the National Police Aid Charity to be sent to the Gambia for eye camps, the Army working in Mali, and through a variety of independent charities operating in Nigeria, Chad, Tanzania, and Bangladesh.