How to Recycle Contact Lenses
Oct 25 2019
SCARCE does NOT accept contact lenses or packaging.
According to the CDC about 45 million Americans wear contact lenses. Since they have to be replaced regularly – or even daily – used contact lenses and packaging waste can pile up. Some of it is becoming a surprising source of pollution.
Contact lenses and plastic packaging are not recyclable in any typical recycling program. They are simply too small to make it through the sorting process. Nor should lenses be flushed down the toilet or sink drain where they end up in wastewater or sewage sludge and, ultimately, as microplastic pollution in our soil and oceans. So please, don’t flush your lenses!
How to Recycle your Contacts
Bausch & Lomb and Terracycle have teamed up to offer a contact lens recycling program. The program is free and accepts any brand of contact lenses as well as the plastic blister packs (you just have to read the fine print in the FAQ). To recycle your contact lens waste, find a local drop off on Terracycle’s website. Most are at local optometrist offices.
Help Expand Recycling Options
If your eye doctor does not participate, encourage them to go green and sign up! It’s free for them and each time they ship items for recycling, a donation is made to Optometry Giving Sight. Many of their patients, including you, would be pleased to see them doing their part to reduce waste and give back. Plus, they’d be helping to spread awareness about the program. Download an info sheet to bring to your next appointment.
Learn more about Bausch & Lomb’s partnership with Terracycle at the link below.
Wearing contact lenses is a highly personal choice. If you’re concerned about the waste from contact lenses, there are a couple options. You could look into contacts that don’t have to be replaced as frequently or experiment with wearing glasses more often. And of course, you can simply recycle contact lenses and packaging through the program outlined above. Ultimately, do what works for you.