Solid Waste & Recycling

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Contact lenses now recyclable in Canada


TORONTO and TRENTON, N.J. – Bausch + Lomb has partnered with TerraCycle to launch contact lens recycling in Canada.

Through the joint initiative, Canadians who wear contact lenses now have a way to recycle their traditionally non-recyclable disposable contact lenses and blister pack packaging.

Contact lenses and blister packs are considered non-recyclable through municipal facilities because they are 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 here to 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 are 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 remoulded to create new products.

“More than 290 million contact lenses end up in Canadian landfills or waterways yearly,” said Matt Nowak, director, sales and marketing, Bausch + Lomb Canada.

“As more consumers switch to wearing daily disposable lenses, this number will increase significantly. Our customers and their patients are concerned about the environmental impact of the packaging going to landfills, and they want to act to protect the environment.”

“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 Tom Szaky, founder and CEO, TerraCycle.

“Initiatives like the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts recycling program allow eye care professionals and patients to work within their communities and take an active role in preserving the environment, beyond what their local recycling programs are able to provide. 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 Netherlands, the United States and Australia.