As soon as you’re finished using and enjoying your contact lenses, you may be asking what’s next when it comes to lens disposal. We are all trying to do our bit for the environment and as such, here are the best eco-friendly recommendations on how to go green with disposing of coloured contacts.
The Problem with Contact Lens Disposal
Did you know that most types of contact lenses are made from non-biodegradable materials? This means that they are made from plastics which will not dissolve in water. They will remain intact and could make their way into our marine ecosystems; potentially harming wildlife.
How to Correctly Dispose Of Contact Lenses
Contact lenses should be disposed of alongside your regular household waste. It is not advised that you dispose of your contact lenses down the sink or toilet – a surprisingly common way that users dispose of their contacts. This is because the contact lenses will end up in our eco-systems.
Sometimes, contact lenses are so small and thin that they get filtered out in regular recycling systems. This means they have a higher chance of ending up in the regular landfill.
To counter these problems the following schemes have been introduced.
National Contact Lens Recycling Schemes
You’ll be delighted to know that there are many options for contact lens recycling. In the UK, there is currently a national contact lens recycling scheme from Terracycle & Acuvue. With this scheme, you, as a group or as an individual, can recycle contact lenses to earn points.
You can not only recycle the lenses with the programme but parts of the packaging such as the lens blister packs and foil.
Find out more on the contact lens recycling scheme from the Terracycle Contact Lens Recycling page. These schemes make it possible for contact lenses to be made into benches, playground equipment and more.
Disposing of Contact Lens Packaging
Many aspects such as the cardboard packaging and the plastic blister packs are widely recycled. If you receive contact lenses in glass vials then these can be recycled separately.
In most cases, the contact lens foil seals cannot be recycled (unless in a scheme mentioned above) and should be disposed of alongside regular household waste.