We need to become more and more conscious of our actions and the ecological footprints they leave. One example of this is finding a way to dispose of your contact lenses in an environmentally friendly way. Nearly 20% of contact lens wearers flush their lenses down the toilet or sink. A small gesture with big consequences because contact lens waste represents almost 23 tons of plastic per year which end up in North America's wastewater.
Contact lens recycling
By not disposing of their products properly, contact lens wearers are contributing to pollution. Contact lenses flushed down the drain or in the toilet end up in the sewage system and reach the treatment plants.
What are the solutions for recycling contact lenses?
Bausch & Lomb now offers environmentally friendly biodegradable packaging. The laboratory has even launched the first "every lens counts" recycling program for the American and Australian markets, allowing the recycling of used contact lenses and packaging.
Johnson & Johnson has also been recognized for the reduced packaging of some of its lenses. For example, Acuvue Oasys boxes are smaller due to how the lens lids are interlocked. This reduces the use of polypropylene and cardboard, which in turn produces less waste.
Cooper Vision, on the other hand, has an environmental protection program. Divided into four key areas: water, energy, recycling and people. The environmentally responsible practices they have chosen to adopt include improving operations to reduce water consumption and recycling almost all the plastics used in their production process
Good habits for disposing of and recycling your contact lenses and their packaging
What is recyclable:
- The cardboard packaging of your contact lenses;
- The paper instructions for use;
- Individual rigid plastic packaging containing each lens;
- Hard plastic bottles of multipurpose products or eye drops.
What to throw away in the trash:
- Monthly contact lenses and single day contact lenses