As part of their commitment to improving lives through better eyesight, Specsavers Ópticas in Javea and Calpe visited a charity glasses recycling centre that it supports.
The Melvin Jones Glasses Recycling Centre was founded by the Lions Club in 1997 in Tarragona and then moved to the current site in Alicante in 2007. It processes all the glasses which are donated to the Lions Clubs in Spain. They handle 100,000 pairs of glasses each year, employ two full-time staff members and are assisted by six volunteer workers to ensure all those glasses can get to where they are needed.
On Friday 31st of May, Alba Argudo and Abel Santiago Campana from Specsavers Ópticas in Javea and Calpe, met with Antonio Sansano, director of the Melvin Jones Glasses Recycling Centre, to understand what happens to Specsavers customers´ glasses once they have been donated. They spoke to Mr Sansano to understand the process and toured the centre to see the different stages that the glasses go through before they are distributed to those in need all over the world.
Mike Stone, store director of Specsavers Ópticas in Javea and Calpe, says: “Approximately 100,000 glasses and frames leave the centre every year on their way to more than 30 countries. A pair of glasses are an unaffordable luxury to a large part of the population, and can literally change people’s lives by allowing them to return to work or studies. We are proud to support the Lions by collecting and donating glasses and it was fantastic for us to see the hard work of the team at the Melvin Jones Centre to make sure the glasses get to those who need them in the best condition.”
At the centre, the first stage of the process is to select which glasses can be used. Damaged glasses and glasses with an uncommon prescription are discarded, in order to ensure that all the glasses sent are easy for the volunteers to distribute. The glasses are then put in a cleaning bath for a 24 hour deep clean. Once clean, the prescriptions are checked and noted, and put into individual bags with the prescription printed on a piece of paper and the bags are marked “glasses for donation”, to avoid them being used for any other purpose.
The glasses are then sorted into prescription ranges and are shipped all over the world, with a focus on Africa, Asia and South America where they are hard to come by. They also distribute to different non- profit organisations and projects, on request.
Specsavers Ópticas have been working with the Lions Club in Spain since the first Spanish Specsavers store opened in Javea in April 2006 and started their long-standing collaboration with the Calpe and Benissa Lions. There are thousands of pairs of glasses donated annually from all eight stores in Spain, which are all processed at the Melvin Jones Centre.
If you have unwanted or old glasses, please drop them into your nearest Specsavers Ópticas them in Avenida Ejércitos Españoles No. 6 in Calpe or Avenida Del Pla 125 in Javea, and they will make sure they get to the Melvin Jones Recycling Centre.