Contact lens recycling and contact lens case recycling
Environmental sustainability is an issue that is growing in concern among the public, especially young people. Companies are increasingly being held accountable for the impacts they generate and called upon to be responsible corporate citizens, conducting their business in a more sustainable way.
Environmental sustainability of the products we consume is a topic we are rightfully becoming increasingly conscious of when we make purchases. If you are reading this article, you are sure to be asking yourself, "What impact do my contact lenses have on the environment? Is there anything I can do to limit the environmental impact of using disposable contact lenses, cases and cleaning solution packaging? Are contact lenses recyclable?"
When it comes to disposable plastic items like contact lenses, contact lens cases and product packaging, thankfully there is a way for us to use these products in a sustainable way to limit the impact they have on the environment.
Are contact lenses recyclable?
People mistakenly assume that contact lenses and cases are too small or made out of too specific of a material to be recycled, so they dispose of their old contact lenses by throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the drain. However, contact lenses are recyclable, you just need to see what options are available in your area and according to the contact lenses brand you use.
Keep in mind, your lenses are medical devices that are purposefully engineered to last, so when you throw them out, the story doesn't end there! You should never flush your lenses down the toilet or sink drain, where they will end up in sewage sludge and will ultimately become microplastic fibers that pollute our oceans and seep their way into our food supply.
How to recycle contact lenses?
Like we said before, companies are becoming increasingly attuned to customers' preferences when it comes to sustainability. In fact, some large-scale producers of contact lenses, like Acuvue®, Bausch + Lomb and CooperVision have activated specialized recycling initiatives in which consumers are able to give a second life to their plastic lenses by collecting the lenses and shipping them back to the producer, or dropping them off at designated collection centers or participating opticians and distributors.
Are contact lens cases recyclable?
What about contact lens cases, packaging, solution bottles and other paraphernalia, are the same options available? Depending on where you live, yes! Some distributors take recycling one step further and also collect the blister pack plastic packaging and foil.
How to recycle contact lens cases?
As per the cases and plastic bottles containing the contact solution, these can be recycled together with other types of household plastic waste depending on the specific recycling regulations of your area.
So, the next time you are buying your contact lenses online, take some time not only to think about when to place your next order, but also to think about contact lens recycling!
Please remember you should always clean your contacts and you must not wear expired contacts because it may lead to eye infections and, in rare cases, blindness.