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Specsavers on Sheep Street renews eyewear recycling program

The Specsavers store in Sheep Street has just renewed its eyewear recycling program after a long period of inactivity during the Covid-19 closures.

The store has partnered with ReFactory, a recycling company that specializes in harder-to-handle materials, such as mixed plastics and glass. The company then breaks down these materials and reforms them into plywood-like panels that replace traditional wood as a furniture component.

The partnership means that Specsavers can now send their customers’ old and unwanted glasses to be made into anything from shelves to garden furniture.

After Specsavers’ former partner Vision Aid Overseas went out of business during the Covid-19 closures, Sarah Marshall, the store’s optometrist, said: “Specsavers needed a new way to recycle eyewear.”

She went on to say that, “If the trial with ReFactory is successful, then Specsavers will seek to use the resulting furniture for charitable purposes.”

Sarah said the success of the trial will depend on the number of glasses donated by shoppers. For which the staff has set up a donation box in the store. She said: “We used to receive hundreds of glasses a month donated by customers, and when we used Vision Aid Overseas it was a very popular program.”

She added, “It’s great for customers to see that something good is happening with their eyewear.”

Specsaver’s renewed recycling efforts come at a time when Oxford has been ranked as the UK’s top recycling city. And more efforts will take place as Sarah says: “The new specsavers opening in Kidlington will also have a recycling box in store.”

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