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B+L contact lens recycling program hits 140k milestone

29/08/2018By Matthew Woodley
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A recycling program has diverted more than 140,000 contact lenses, lens cases and blister packs from Australian landfill since being established in July 2017.

The Bausch + Lomb Recycling Program, conducted in partnership with private US recycling business TerraCycle, involves collecting contact lens waste deposited by Australian consumers at around 260 ‘drop-off’ sites located mostly in optometry practices throughout the country.

The waste is then shipped to TerraCycle, where it is shredded, washed and melted down into sustainable raw material that can be used as an alternative to newly manufactured plastic.

One of the program’s participants, optometrist Mr Jayson Chong from Bailey Nelson Claremont in Perth, said that collecting locals’ contact lens waste had helped his team champion sustainability.

“While most of our customers are educated about the environment, many are surprised to learn that we can also recycle contact lenses. Running an eco-friendly business helps us build a good reputation and promote workplace satisfaction for our staff,” Chong said.

Bausch + Lomb brand manager, Ms Maria Tran, said it was exciting to see so many optometry practices take part in the program.

“We’re confident that, together, we’re making a difference to our world,” she added.

For each kilogram of contact lens waste sent to TerraCycle, Bausch + Lomb donates $1 to Optometry Giving Sight – which so far has seen $380 contributed to the cause.

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