Contact lens users in Australia are recycling their used lenses and blister packs to raise money for the charity, Optometry Giving Sight.
The Bausch & Lomb recycling program allows Australians to collect and ship all brands of used contact lenses, blister packs and lens cases free of charge to TerraCycle. For every kilogram of accepted waste sent to TerraCycle, Bausch & Lomb donates $1 to the charity, Optometry Giving Sight, and shreds, washes and melts down the raw materials to be used as an alternative to virgin plastic.
To date, more than one tonne of waste destined for landfill has instead been recycled and the first donation of $1500 has been received by Optometry Giving Sight.
The charity, delivering eye care services to more than 7.6 million people worldwide, has welcomed the Bausch & Lomb initiative run in partnership with global recycling pioneer TerraCycle.
TerraCycle claims it has now recycled more than 9.5 million units of contact lens waste globally, giving it a second life by turning it into new products such as garden beds, park benches and playground equipment.
Optometry Giving Sight Australia Manager Ron Baroni said the donations would go directly towards delivering eye care services to people in need around the world.
“We are pleased Bausch & Lomb and TerraCycle have put together this environmentally friendly solution for the millions of contact lenses and blister packs that are discarded annually,” he said.
“We’re even more pleased Bausch & Lomb has made Optometry Giving Sight the recipient of the funds raised from this recycling program. The donations will help us to fund projects which provide eye care services to individuals living in underserved communities around the world.
“There are currently 1.22 billion people who are blind or vision impaired simply because they don’t have access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses.”
TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand General Manager Jean Bailliard said: “To recycle items that would otherwise be sent to landfill and raise money for a charity giving sight to underprivileged people is a win for all.”
The Bausch & Lomb recycling program accepts all brands of contact lens waste, including used contact lenses, contact lens cases, and contact lens blister packs.
To recycle in the program, Australians should visit www.terracycle.com/en-AU/bauschrecycling, sign up for free and start collecting all brands of contact lens waste in any available cardboard box. When full, they log into their TerraCycle account, download a free Australia Post shipping label, stick it to the box of waste and drop it at their nearest post office, free of charge.