At Luxottica, we view recycling as a key part of our product lifecycle management and are committed to the principles of reduce, re-use and recycle.
Our investment in recycling stems both from our responsibility as product manufacturers and our commitment to reducing environmental impact (which waste disposal inevitably causes). The adoption of recycling systems is also an economic decision, as it lowers the financial cost of a product. Although recycling waste is a far more complex process than disposal, we believe limiting waste as much as possible is absolutely necessary to safeguard the environment.
In addition, we have made significant progress with our OneSight Foundation, through which we have:
• Established 8 Global Eyewear Recycling Centers
• Recycled 2 million pairs of eyewear annually for hand-delivery on Global Clinics
We are in the process of assessing and exploring additional opportunities at group level and in our brands to expand our recycling efforts and use recycled materials in our products.
In Luxottica, the first initiative for recycling plastic in the manufacturing process was in May 2008, and came from Oakley. It was immediately decided to apply it to the REVO line (models 4037-4038-4039-4040-4041), where production uses recycled shiny black material. The shape of this sports line lends itself to the moulding of recycled plastic.
In July 2008, manufacturing tests were run to validate the formula of the recycled material and in November the tooling for the five models was completed. The first actual production of injection moulded models was in January 2009. In Luxottica, the standard production cycle (injection moulding) uses granules of virgin plastic. The granules are dehumidified in special machines and loaded into the press for injection moulding.
In the case of the five REVO models, this is where the recovery and transformation of plastic for recycling starts. In the moulding phase, the semi-finished parts are separated from the waste, which instead of being disposed of as in normal production is collected in big bags and supplied to a contractor. Plastics are usually made up of polymers (chains of smaller molecules called monomers) and soften with heat, a property that enables plastic to be remoulded into a new shape.
The contractor regrinds the waste in a “mill”, forms a paste and extrudes it into long thin “spaghetti” which are cut up into granules. These granules are then put in sacks and delivered to Luxottica, where a new moulding process begins. Production of these recycled models involves three production plants working in synergy: Agordo, Pederobba and Foot Hill Ranch.