What are My Options for Recycling Contact Lenses?
The convenience and benefits of contact lenses are undeniable: you can open a fresh set of lenses in the morning, enjoy clear vision all day long, then toss the lenses in the trash before bed. But, before you throw those lenses out, have you considered your options for recycling contact lenses?
Too often, people throw plastic and waste into the garbage can without thinking about how the trash might be affecting the environment. Many cities are implementing recycling programs, which makes it possible to save the planet by recycling water bottles, cardboard, magazines, and more. If you are looking for ways to do your part by keeping stuff out of the landfill, then recycling contact lenses could be another thing to add to your initiative.
Don’t Flush Your Contact Lenses
The easiest way to get rid of your used contact lenses is to drop them in the garbage, wash them down the sink, or flush them down the toilet. By how does this small choice add up over time?
Consider the fact that more than 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses. If every person flushed their daily disposables down the toilet, that would be a lot of material which could clog up the waterways! Do the math, and it means that as much as 20 – 23 metric tons of plastic is winding up in our wastewater because of the billions of contact lenses that are flushed annually.
You can protect our water by keeping your contacts out of the toilet and sink. But throwing them in the garbage still means that this waste is ending up in the landfill. Not only are you throwing away the contact lenses, but there is also quite a bit of waste with the foil and blister packs used for contact lens packaging.
How to Recycle Contact Lenses?
Luckily, eco-friendly options are available if you are interested in recycling contact lenses. It is important to note that these products can’t be dropped in the recycling bin with your plastic water bottles and bags. The size and shape of the packaging materials make them difficult to handle in the processing systems.
Make sure that the foil is removed from the contact lens blister packs. Then, put the empty blister packs into a larger plastic bottle so they can be processed together.
Where Can I Recycle Contact Lenses?
One recycling option you might consider is the ONE by ONE Recycling Program offered by Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle. You can visit their website to find a recycling center near your home.
Many local eye doctors offer their clinics as drop-off centers where you can drop off the waste. Another option is to put the contact lenses and packaging in a sealed cardboard box, then ship it from a UPS location (or schedule a pickup time at your home).
This contact lens recycling program accepts the contact lenses and blister packs from any manufacturer. Regardless of the brand you choose, Bausch + Lomb will help with the disposal. Additionally, for every pound recycled, $1 is donated to a fundraiser: Optometry Giving Sight.
Questions about Contact Lenses?
Whether you have questions about recycling contact lenses or you would like to talk to an optometrist about your vision correction, our team is here to assist. Call today to schedule a consultation.