Plastic pink flamingos wear solar eclipse viewing glasses near Hopkinsville, KY.

Plastic pink flamingos wear solar eclipse viewing glasses near Hopkinsville, KY. / AP Photo

Millions of pairs of paper safety glasses were produced leading up to Monday’s solar eclipse.

But now that it’s over, what should you do with them?

Meagan Whitehead is program director of Keep Georgia Beautiful. She says most pairs of paper eclipse glasses are recyclable.

“The cardboard frame can absolutely go into any recycling that accepts cardboard,” she said. “You do want to remove the film, though, before you stick that in your recycling bin.”

Whitehead says local camera stores might be able to help recycle those film lenses. She also suggests contacting facilities that handle hard-to-recycle materials: both Atlanta and Athens have centers.


If you’re unable to recycle the glasses, you can give them a second life.

Astronomers Without Borders is planning an eclipse glasses donation program. The idea is to take the used glasses and redistribute them to schools in South America.

“They can’t just write off to some place or go onto Amazon and buy them,” said Mike Simmons, the organization’s president. “Even in the places that you might expect they’d have access, they wouldn’t.”

Simmons says Astronomers Without Borders will rely on local astronomy clubs for help collecting the glasses. He says the organization plans to release more details on the program in the coming days via Facebook.

NASA says Chile and Argentina are in the path of totality for the next total solar eclipse, set to happen July 2, 2019.

The next total solar eclipse to pass over the United States won’t happen until 2024. That one will trace a path from Texas to Maine.