At Vision Source Rio we are strong believers in contact lenses. In fact we believe that for a large percentage of our contact lens wearers that single-use 1 day contact lenses are the best option for safe comfortable healthy contact lens wear. The question is how can we minimize the waste associated with contact lens wear? Some statistics on contact lens waste are listed below:
1) 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses.
2) 15-20% of contact lens wearers rinse lenses down the sink or flush them down the toilet.
3) An estimated 6-10 metric tons of plastic lens material end up in wastewater in the United States each year.
4) In wastewater treatment, contact lenses break down into micro-plastics.
5) Micro-plastics pose risks to aquatic organisms, marine animals and the entire food supply.
The good news is there are ways to reduce the impact of contact lens wear on our environment:
A) Never rinse lenses down the sink or flush them down the toilet. Disposing of contact lenses in the garbage is appropriate. However there is a better way...
B) At Vision Source Rio we are working together with Bausch & Lomb to recycle contact lenses and the blister packs in which they are packaged. We accept all soft contact lenses and the blister packs they came in. Bausch & Lomb’s program works with the recycling company Terracycle. Once received the contact lenses and blister packs are separated by composition and cleaned. The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and blister pack components are melted into plastic that can be remolded to make recycled products. The cardboard boxes are recyclable through our regular municipal recycling program.
C) And of course, don’t forget to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses to protect your eyes and precious sight.
Together we can enjoy the great vision associated with contact lens wear while minimizing the impact on our planet... the ultimate double win!