By Liesl Clark
Have you ever been to a 3D movie and walked out with a pair of 3D glasses before remembering to toss them in the drop box at the door? I have. My whole family has, so that means 4 pairs of glasses. Worse yet, we’ve been to theaters where there is no drop box. So, more useless plastic glasses go home with us. And we don’t frequent the theaters enough to warrant carrying 3D glasses around in our bags. So I did a bit of research and found an interesting article at RecycleScene about what happens to 3D glasses after you drop them in the bin. The short version of this excellent article is that they’re washed at a company called RealD and are shipped back to the theaters (all individually wrapped in plastic, but at least the glasses are reused.)
Reuse: If you end up with a pair, you can always donate your 3D glasses to your kids’ dress up chest. Just be sure to take the lenses out.
But what happens if there isn’t a bin at the theater? If your theater doesn’t provide recycling of 3D glasses, please contact RealD directly at 100 North Crescent Dr., Suite 120 Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Let them know the name & location of the theater where you acquired the glasses and see if they can start a program there. My hope is they’ll take your glasses and throw them in with the thousands of others that they wash and ship back out.
I sent this note on my daughter’s Disney notepaper featuring Dumbo (thought that was an appropriate movie theme) asking RealD if they knew of another recycle location for 3D glasses but never heard back.
How to Make 3D Glasses, Or 3DIY Glasses: If you’d like to make your own 3D glasses for viewing traditional 3D images in a 3D book, for example, you can always make those cute red and blue 3D glasses: Take a pair of old glasses with clear lenses, color the left lens red and the right lens blue with permanent markers, and voila! Stylish, comfortable. Please note that current 3D technology is quite different from the red and blue configuration so these homemade glasses wouldn’t work in the theater. If you want to understand how 3D glasses work, check out this video from MIT.
Meanwhile, if you’re still looking for 3D reduce, reuse, recycle inspiration please visit our Trash Backwards app where we help you deal with your excess stuff without sending it to the landfill: