Over a third (39%) of contact lenses wearers aren’t sure or believe they can recycle lenses, according to recent research by Johnson & Johnson Vision, which found over two-thirds (70%) of consumers are confused about the types of household items they can recycle.
Whilst not impossible, recycling contact lenses has traditionally been challenging, where consumers must proactively seek out a paid-for recycling partner.
Johnson & Johnson Vision, however, is launching the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme, the UK’s first free nationwide programme which enables consumers to easily recycle their contact lenses and the blister and foil packaging after use.
The programme is available to all soft contact lens wearers regardless of which contact lens brand they use.
Sandra Rasche, Johnson & Johnson – “Seventy-seven percent of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment”
The programme aims to reduce plastic waste in landfills and waterways by providing a simple and practical alternative to the UK’s 3.7 million contact wearers, including the 20% of wearers who reported that they currently dispose of their lenses by flushing them down the toilet or the sink. The end result will see the recycled contact lenses, blister and foil packaging turned into new products such as outdoor furniture and plastic lumber.
“Seventy-seven percent of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment,” said Sandra Rasche, Area Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH.
“As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change, protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new UK recycling programme represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.”
Consumers will have the option of either having their contact lens material collected, or simply dropping it off through a network of recycling bins at public drop-off locations at optical stores across the UK, including high street retailer Boots Opticians Ltd. The recycling partnership with Boots Opticians and a number of independent stores, aims over time to provide over 1,000 public drop-off recycling locations for contact lens waste across the UK.
Johnson & Johnson Vision is collaborating with TerraCycle. Open for all in the UK, contact lens wearers are encouraged to check the ACUVUEand TerraCycle websites for details on their nearest public drop-off location points or to recycle from home via courier collection.