Recycling glasses is not a service usually offered by local authorities, but leading high-street opticians Specsavers have partnered with recycling experts MYgroup to install recycling collection boxes at stores nationwide. Specsavers customers can drop off both metal and plastic glasses and sunglasses, as well as contact lenses and accessories, including blister packs, contact lens cases and solution bottles as part of the iconic British company’s sustainable development goals.
The collected items are then transported to the MYgroup plastics recycling division in Hull where the plastic is sorted, washed, shredded, heated and pressed into tough, durable and 100 per cent recycled and recyclable plastic boards, ideal for construction. The scrap metal is also recycled. MYgroup also design and manufacture a wide range of recycled items, from chairs to garden planters, available on ReFactory, their online shop.
Making a positive difference
It’s the latest practical way in which Specsavers are endeavouring to be more sustainable. The company has made a commitment to be carbon-positive by 2035 and to be net-zero by 2050. Specsavers is concentrating on using more sustainable material in its products and using as little packaging as possible, as well as pledging to try to create products and packaging that are easily recycled.
It’s ReWear collection offers 24 styles made from recycled PET bottles and bio-based acetate. Specsavers is also stockists of Timberland’s collection of lightweight metal and bio-based plastic styles. Plus – exclusive to Specsavers – is a range from the late, great designer Vivienne Westwood, which is partially made from recycled plastics and bio-based materials, such as wood pulp.
Back to the community
The company also has a proud tradition of taking responsibility and giving back to communities. In November 2022 the optician partnered with Big Issue Group to offer all vendors a sight test, an overall eye health Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan (Like an MRI for the eyes), and glasses from the £15-29 ranges, as well as sponsoring the iconic red tabards.
Aware of the challenges that people experiencing poverty face in receiving healthcare, Specsavers are looking to do more. Alongside its partnership with BIG, the company will be working with homelessness charities Crisis and Vision Care for Homeless People to help remove the barriers that people experiencing homelessness can face accessing eye care.