Business • Islington

Taking an industry-specific approach, RecycLine reduces waste from materials used to make spectacles and the environmental impact of this waste.

  • Spectacle recycling process.
  • Map of recycling locations.

Our story

Our involvement in spectacle recycling began several years ago, with an approach from the charity, 'Vision Aid Overseas', due to our reputation for recycling difficult-to-handle materials. We soon learnt that spectacle recycling has some unique challenges due to the mixed materials used in their manufacture.

During the years we worked with Vision Aid Overseas, we invested in developing a bespoke plant to allow us to separate the mixed plastic and metal materials in a way that was both effective and economically viable, in order to tackle an environmental problem that had previously been ignored.

With Vision Aid Overseas, we were processing up to 70,000 frames per week, which amounts to 1.5 tonne of mixed plastic and metal that would have otherwise have ended up in landfill. Our process allows the separated materials to then be re-used as raw material.

Our operation is primarily funded by the re-use potential of the recovered materials, which enables us to provide an end-to-end recycling service to our charity partners in a cost-effective and responsible way.

At this time, our process is reportedly the only operation of its kind in the world, which has given us opportunities to receive spectacle frames at the end of their use, from multiple channels across the UK, Europe and beyond.

Our advice

Every industry, however similar to others they may seem, has its own unique environmental footprint.

It is important for retailers and customers of manufactured consumer goods to always challenge how waste is being managed in their industry, as it is rarely a simplistic pathway once waste is handed over to a service provider.

There are still opportunities out there to find value in consumer waste, and make an even bigger difference to the environment by taking an industry-bespoke approach.

'Recycling' and 'sustainability' are often used interchangeably by retailers and consumers, but are very different concepts when it comes to the technical aspects of waste management. We have found through our specialisation in the spectacle industry that real sustainability can only happen when all those involved in the supply chain communicate and work together.

Our metrics

Growing our number of charity partners and commercial enterprises, from across the optical industry globally.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Action Area

Circular Economy

Positive Impacts

Less Waste



Response to climate crisis





Business, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Christopher Stafford

Updated Feb, 2024

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