What To Do With Old Sunglasses (Recycle, Donate, Or?)


Sunglasses are a great accessory for any outfit, but what do you do with them once they’re old or no longer needed?

As someone who loves sunglasses, I’ve accumulated quite a collection over the years. However, I recently realized that many of the pairs I no longer wear were just sitting in a drawer, taking up space. 

I didn’t want to just throw them away, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them either. That’s when I started researching ways to repurpose or recycle old sunglasses.

Instead of throwing them away, there are many better options for old sunglasses that can give them a new life and benefit others.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to reuse or recycle old sunglasses.

So let’s get started right away!

Donate Them

Donating old sunglasses is a great way to give back to the community and help people in need.

Many charitable organizations accept donations of old glasses and sunglasses to distribute them to underserved communities.

Lions Clubs International is one of the most well-known organizations that accept sunglasses and eyeglasses donations.

They have drop-off locations all over the United States and in different countries around the world.

Lions Recycle for Sight program is a great option for donating old glasses frames to a good cause. The program collects used eyeglasses, sorts them, and distributes them to people in need in developing countries.

This program has helped millions of people around the world get access to better vision and improve their quality of life.

Another great way to donate old sunglasses is to give them to a local charity or family member.

If the sunglasses are in good condition, someone else may be able to use them.

Many charity shops accept donations of used eyeglasses and sunglasses, and some even have dedicated eyeglass donation boxes.

For example, the Salvation Army accepts donations of old glasses frames and lenses, which they distribute to people in need.

Donating your old sunglasses to a local charity or family member is a great way to help someone else see clearly and get a new look.

It can also help reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Repurpose Them

If your old sunglasses are not in good shape for donation, there are still many creative ways to repurpose them.

Repurposing old sunglasses is a fun and creative way to give them a new life and reduce waste. It can also be a great way to express your creativity and add some unique decor to your home or office.

By removing the lenses and adding some beads or chains, you can create a unique piece of jewelry that’s both stylish and eco-friendly. Another idea is to use old sunglasses as a plant holder.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can also use old sunglasses to create a unique picture frame.

Simply remove the lenses and insert a photo behind the frame. You can decorate the frame with paint, glitter, or other embellishments to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

There are many online tutorials that can guide you through the process of repurposing old sunglasses.

I personally love browsing Pinterest whenever I can’t think of a way to repurpose an old item!

For example, you could add some glitter or sequins to create a glamorous pair of sunglasses for a night out.

For a more vintage-inspired look, you could use old sunglasses to create a retro-style headband or hair accessory.

Another idea is to use old sunglasses to create a DIY wall art piece. Simply attach them to a canvas or frame and hang them on your wall for a bold and stylish statement piece.

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to repurposing old sunglasses.

Another great way to repurpose old sunglasses is to use them as part of a costume or fashion statement.

You could add some rhinestones or other embellishments to create a glamorous pair of sunglasses for a costume party.

Or, you could use old sunglasses to create a steampunk-inspired look by adding gears, cogs, and other industrial elements.

Sell Them

Selling old sunglasses is another option to consider if you longer feel like holding on to them.

Many online marketplaces, such as eBay and Craigslist, allow you to sell your old sunglasses to other people who may be interested in buying them.

You can also sell them through social media platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace or Instagram.

This is a great way to make some extra money and give your old sunglasses a new home.

Another option is to sell your old sunglasses to a consignment shop.

Consignment shops will sell your old sunglasses for you and give you a percentage of the sale price.

This is a great option if you have designer sunglasses or vintage sunglasses that are in excellent condition.

Some consignment shops specialize in selling vintage sunglasses, so it’s worth doing some research to find one in your area.

Recycle Them

If you can’t donate, sell or repurpose your old sunglasses, recycling them is the best way to ensure they don’t end up in a landfill.

Many eyewear retailers, such as Walmart Vision Centers, Pearle Vision, and Sears Optical, have drop-off locations for old glasses frames and lenses.

Additionally, some local opticians and permanent vision centers also accept old sunglasses for recycling.

Other Questions You May Have

Can I donate old eyeglasses if they have prescription lenses?

Many charitable organizations accept old prescription glasses. Lions Clubs International is an example of an organization that accept eyeglass donations.

Can I donate old glasses frames that are not in good condition?

It depends on the charity or organization. Some will accept glasses frames in any condition, while others only accept frames that are in good condition. Check with your local Lions Club or other charity to find out their guidelines.

Can I donate contact lenses? 

Contact lenses cannot be donated due to the risk of contamination and infection. However, you can recycle them through specialized recycling programs, such as the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program.

Can I donate more than one pair of glasses at a time? 

In fact, some organizations, such as Lions Clubs International and the Eyes of Hope program, encourage donations of multiple pairs of glasses to help more people in need. Check with your local Lions Club or other charity to find out their guidelines.

Can I recycle old glasses frames?

Many eyewear retailers, such as Walmart Vision Centers, Pearle Vision, and Sears Optical, have drop-off locations for old glasses frames and lenses.

When you donate your old glasses frames at these drop-off locations, they are typically sorted by prescription strength and then cleaned and repaired if necessary. The glasses are then distributed to people in need through a variety of channels,

Can I donate reading glasses? 

Many charitable organizations accept donations of reading glasses. Lions Clubs International and the Fred Hollows Foundation are just a few of the organizations that accept eyeglass donations.

These organizations distribute donated glasses to people in need, both locally and internationally, who suffer from refractive errors and cannot afford corrective lenses.

Recent Posts