Durham’s opticians have played a pivotal role in recycling over 50 metric tons of eyeglasses and eye care materials, all thanks to the contributions of their customers.

The total has been unveiled by Specsavers as part of Recycle Week (16-22 October). It also marks reaching the significant milestone of recycling the equivalent of 1 million pairs of glasses, at stores across the UK, since the initiative began in August 2022.

Teaming up with recycling experts MYgroup, collection points have been available in store for customers to recycle their unwanted specs and contact lens packaging.

‘A big thank you to everyone who has helped us with this recycling initiative by bringing in their eye care products for disposal,’ says Andrew Craig, retail director at Specsavers Arnison and Durham. ‘To have also contributed to such a huge overall total is brilliant and we want to continue to recycle as much as we can to help reduce the amount of waste to landfill.

‘Customers can drop off metal and plastic glasses and sunglasses, as well as glasses cases, contacts lenses and accessories, including blister packs, contact lens cases and solution bottles. Unfortunately we can’t accept lens cloths.’

Once the collection bins are full, the items are sent to MYgroup’s recycling plant. The glasses and contact lenses are given a second lease of life and repurposed into a wide range of items such as furniture, home and garden accessories, including benches and play park equipment.

It can also be used in the building trade as a great alternative to plywood. Unlike some recycled items, the recycled board created by MYgroup has the potential to be recycled over and over again, so any items dropped off for recycling can be repurposed multiple times.

You can drop off any unwanted glasses or eye care materials by visiting the store at Arnison, Stanley or Durham or you can call 0191 574 0875 (Arnison), 01207 710 155 (Stanley) or 0191 622 1234 (Durham) for more information.

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