Of the three Rs of the waste hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), glasses “recycling” is number 2. This means that glasses are reused for another person, a much more desirable level of waste minimization than traditional “recycling” which entails energy to re-form the product for reuse.
2. ZERO WASTE
Glasses recycling is aligned with the philosophy of “zero waste” which aims to ensure that products are (designed to be) repaired, refurbished, re-manufactured and generally reused. Reusing glasses frames extends their lifetime to their threshold maximum period of usage. Where they can no longer be reused, their component parts (screws, nose pieces, etc.) are salvaged to further extend their lifetime.
3. SUSTAINABLE CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT
Supporters of sustainable culture and development advocate, among other things, 1) improving the efficiency of resource use and 2)reducing the waste stream going into the environment. Glasses recycling is a proactive expression of these two goals: it combats unnecessary wastage of a usable resource – and does this by helping the
4. MINIMIZING SOLID WASTE
According to the EPA on Municipal Solid Waste Generation (2007), plastics, metals and glass constitute over 25% of solid waste, a large percentage of which saw a dramatic increase in recycling rates over the last 60 years. Eyeglasses, made mostly of these 3 components, form an appreciably reusable and recyclable resource, minimizing solid waste build-up in landfills.
5. PROMOTING A GREENER ENVIRONMENT
New York University (NYU) research indicates that the average American produces 1,609 pounds of waste each year. Recycling, composting and reuse, says NYU, can cut that waste stream by up to 75%. Glasses recycling cuts the waste stream and promotes a cleaner, greener environment.
1. The Waste Hierarchy
2. Zero Waste
3. What is “Humane Sustainable Culture”?
4. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2007
5. Sustainability Fast Facts