Canada’s first contact lens recycling program kicks off
Created by eye care specialist Bausch + Lomb and recycler TerraCycle, contact lens wearers can now recycle their lenses and blister packs.
January 30, 2020 by Canadian Plastics
Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company of Bausch Health Companies Inc., is partnering with recycler TerraCycle to launch a recycling program for contact lenses in Canada.
Called the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts recycling program – and available in select eye care offices across Canada – the joint initiative allows Canadians who wear contact lenses to recycle their traditionally non-recyclable disposable contact lenses and blister pack packaging.
“More than 290 million contact lenses end up in Canadian landfills or waterways yearly…and as more consumers switch to wearing daily disposable lenses, this number will increase significantly,” said Matt Nowak, director of sales and marketing, Bausch + Lomb Canada. “With the launch of the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts recycling program, they will finally be able to divert this waste away from landfills, lakes, rivers and oceans.
According to Bausch + Lomb, contact lenses and blister packs are considered non-recyclable through municipal facilities because they’re too small to be captured by standard sorting machinery. Through the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts recycling program, consumers can search for their nearest participating eye care professional on the interactive map found at www.terracycle.com/en-CA/brigades/bausch-and-lomb-en-cato recycle all brands of disposable contact lenses and blister pack packaging through that location.
After being collected at an Every Contact Counts recycling location, the contact lenses and blister packs are shipped to a TerraCycle recycling facility, where they’re separated and cleaned. The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and plastic blister pack components are melted into plastic, which can be remolded to create new products.
“Contact lenses are one of the forgotten waste streams that are often overlooked due to their size and how commonplace they are in today’s society,” said TerraCycle founder and CEO Tom Szaky. “By creating this recycling initiative, our aim is to provide an opportunity where whole communities are able to collect waste alongside a national network of public drop-off locations, all with the unified goal to increase the number of recycled contact lenses and their associated packaging, thereby reducing their overall impact on the environment.”
In addition to Canada, Bausch + Lomb also has similar contact lens recycling programs in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Australia.
TerraCycle is headquartered in Trenton, N.J.