Local Gladstone optometrist collects second-hand glasses for a cause.
Specsavers Gladstone is on a mission; to take on a major global health crisis and they are asking locals for their help. The store is launching a glasses recycling program in partnership with Lions Recycle for Sight, which will see quality glasses and sunglasses being delivered to people in need overseas. Gladstone locals can clear out for clear vision and bring their pre-loved glasses and sunglasses into Specsavers Gladstone, placing them in the glasses recycling collection bin or handing them to a team member. Specsavers Gladstone, co-owner Adam Soper said, “When I found out just how many people are going blind in impoverished communities around the world simply because they don’t have access to glasses, I was shocked, and I knew we had to do something about this problem. Blindness and vision impairments are so much worse in third world countries because they can mean the difference between people being able to have a job and feed their family, or not.”
The World Health Organisation reports, visual impairment from uncorrected refractive errors can have immediate and long-term consequences for both children and adults. These include lost educational and employment opportunities which lead to lost economic gain for individuals, families and societies. Recent global studies have shown that there are 101.2 million people visually impaired because of not having access to glasses to correct simple vision problems. Over time as the vision issues remain uncorrected and vision deteriorates, this has led to 6.8 million people currently living with blindness
Once glasses are collected, they will be sent to Lions Recycle for Sight in Queensland, which runs a glasses recycling facility that quality checks, cleans and categorises the glasses. If the glasses pass the quality tests, they are then distributed to people in need overseas through partnering charities and humanitarian organisations. Lions Recycle for Sight only fully processes and donates the best of the glasses collected and the rest are recycled. Chairman of Lions Recycle for Sight, Ken Leonard OAM says “Lions Recycle for Sight is a part of the Lions Clubs International Worldwide Eyeglass Recycling Program. Over the past 26 years, we’ve delivered more than seven million pairs of refurbished quality glasses to people in need all around the world. “We’re really excited about working with Specsavers Gladstone on this program because it will mean that we can process more glasses than ever before and save the sight of so many more people.”