This is Spain

Dedicated to protecting sight

Opticians from Javea and Calpe visit the Melvin Jones glasses recycling centre

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 divided into 3 big groups, +, -, and children. Glasses are shipped all over the world, with a focus on Africa, Asia and South America where glasses 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 nine 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.

Contact Lens Advice for Summer

Calpe has a busy Specsavers branch in the town centre and this week the company sent out this information with advice about contact lens care.

Summer is a time when many people use contact lenses, for flexibility, the freedom to play sports, choose the sunglasses they want, or to dress to impress at all the summer events. However, summer can be a tough time for contact lenses due to the heat and endless days at the pool or the beach, so we’ve asked Nerea Galdos-Pujana, from Specsavers Opticas Marbella for their advice on how to use contact lenses this summer.

1. Take care with air conditioning
Air conditioning can dry out your eyes, making them feel itchy and irritated and this is a particular issue for contact lens wearers. Switch air conditioning off where possible and avoid fans and air jets pointed directly towards the eyes to control this. Eye drops can help keep your eyes hydrated if this is a problem for you over summer.

2. Remember to remove them before swimming
It is tempting to just dive into the pool or sea on a hot summer’s day, but exposing your contact lenses to water is risky. This is because water is full of bacteria including an ameba called acanthamoeba. If this gets under your contact lens and multiplies it will irritate your eye and can cause a serious infection which can lead to permanent visual impairment or blindness. Of course this is rare, but it is important to take the risk seriously and remove contact lenses before swimming. If you swim a lot, it’s worth investing in prescription swimming goggles to protect your eyes and maintain good vision.

3. Don’t forget your sunglasses

A key benefit to contact lenses in summer months is that you don’t need prescription sunglasses, and you don’t have to keep switching between your normal glasses and sunglasses. However, most contact lenses don’t protect the eyes from the powerful UV rays at this time of the year, so it’s important to always wear good quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection whenever you’re out in the sun.

Specsavers Opticas have just launched their new easyvision aquiane daily disposable lenses. These innovative silicone hydrogel lenses were made with comfort in mind, providing everyday value, convenience and health benefits for just 16,50€ for a box of 30 lenses.

For more information visit the Calpe store on Av de los Ejércitos 6 in Calpe or visit

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