Prescription Glasses | Plastic-Free Discussion Board

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Prescription Glasses
September 25, 2011 - 8:10 pm

So it’s been a while and I need to get new glasses again. I would like to re-use the frames and just change out the lenses. The old lenses are polycarbonate, are these recyclable as is or is there a special place to take them to? I know there are boxes for donating whole glasses, but what about just the lenses?

Rant: Also, I really love my old frames and am taking a reduce-reuse-recycle approach on this but every time I go shopping for new lenses the salespeople are so pushy with wanting to sell new frames. Enough already! Is there any place to get just lenses for under $200???

Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

Beth Terry
409 Posts
September 26, 2011 - 10:01 am

What about Costco? Are their lenses inexpensive? Also, can they replace the lenses while you wait? Otherwise, you'd need to have another pair to wear, right? Ask at optical stores about donating just the lenses.  I think you can.  My glasses are polycarbonate, too.  You could ask about glass.  I've actually heard it's more scratch-resistant than plastic.  But I don't know how easily they can break.  And of course glass is heavier.

June 30, 2015 - 10:30 am

I used to work at an optical place, but I won’t name names. Glass is still the best, visually, but is extremely unsafe. If you have a high prescription (over +3/-3) or bifocals, they will be VERY heavy. Your frames may not be able to stand up to the lens weight and may weaken. Polycarbonate is the thinnest and msot scratch-resistant, but least clear for your vision. Some of the coatings that are on the lenses (ie Optifog, anti-glare) are Teflon-based.

Having said that, some jewelry places will weld metal glasses frames. Old frames – with or without lenses – can be donated to your local Lions club.

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