Environment

Stop Contact Lens Pollution

125%

Let’s recycle all our used contact lenses and packaging for the month of October. If 100 people commit to collect and recycle their contacts, we’ll save 6,000 plastic lenses from polluting our environment. Are you in?


  • Done

    To go

  • 100

    Target

  • 125

    Participants

Project Starter

Heather Suttie

Short description:

Stop contact lens pollution!


Despite our reusable straws and using bags-for-life, there’s one single-use plastic product millions of us still use day-in, day out, without a second thought – contact lenses.

 

Collect and recycle all your used lenses – and the packaging, blister packs and plastic wrapping that come with them – for the month of October to help protect the environment and highlight the extent of the problem.

 

Share images of how much plastic and packaging you’ve collected with us, tagging @blondi_SOS and then recycle at Optical Express clinics throughout the UK and Ireland or at your local optician.

Sign up opens: 13 Sep 2019

Sign up closes: 30 Sep 2019

Hashtags:

dontflushlenses

Goal / impact

125 million people in the world wear contact lenses.


In the UK, 4.2 million people rely on contact lenses, using approximately 780 million plastic lenses each year. That’s a huge amount of plastic which is going into landfill or, even worse, being flushed down the drain and ending up in the oceans.

 

Not to mention all the plastic packaging and blister packets that come with contact lenses.

 

New research from one of the world's leading eye care providers, Optical Express shows that 97% of contact lens wearers in the UK are damaging the environment by disposing of these single-use plastic lenses in the bin or flushing down the sink or drain.


In landfill, these plastic lenses take up to 500 years to decompose, and they leak pollutants into the soil and water.

 

Around 45 million people in the US wear contact lenses, and every year, Americans flush 2.6 to 2.9 billion contact lenses down the drain, according to new research from Arizona State University. 

 

When thrown down the drain, contact lenses go through sewage systems, where they break down into smaller particles and ultimately form micro-plastics, polluting the world’s oceans. But together we can turn the tide on plastic pollution from lenses.

 

Contact lenses and their packaging are made from specialist polymers which can’t be recycled in normal household recycling and should therefore be disposed of at recycling centres provided by an optician in your local area.

 

Let’s collect all our lenses and packaging throughout October and take it to be recycled.

 

Through collecting and recycling all of our contact lenses for the month of October we can highlight the extent of the problem and help to protect our environment from single-use plastic pollution. Let’s raise awareness about this pressing issue so that more contact lens wearers start recycling their lenses, or even reduce their plastic use by dusting off their glasses or considering laser eye surgery.

 

Once you have collected your lenses and packaging for the month, take a picture of all that plastic and share it online with the hashtag #DontFlushLenses and remember to recycle your used lenses and packaging

 

Let’s recycle all our used contact lenses and packaging for the month of October. If 100 people commit to collect and recycle their contacts, we’ll save 6,000 plastic lenses from polluting our environment. Are you in?

Other comments

Articles from around the world featuring statistics on contact lens pollution:


BBC


ABC


Newsweek


Earth.com