Hardcore Recycling Enthusiasts Can Now Return Their Contact Lenses

By Gary Cutlack on at

The weird world of the spent disposable contact lens – which shrivel and harden into plastic lumps once out of a hydrating womb of eye fluid -- is the latest area to be environmentally-sounded, as it's now possible to save up all your seen-through lenses for return and recycling.

They are the laughably small sort of thing you'd not normally consider bothering to recycle, but with 3.7m people in the UK wearing a version of the "soft" contact lens, there's actually quite a mound of spent ones building up somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. Hence an independent campaign to have them recycled, which sees a total of 1,000 branches of Boots Opticians and indie pharmacies stocked with lens recycling bins.

The bigger problem is the hard plastic blister packs and their foil lids that the individual lenses usually come in, though, so they'll be taken in for recycling too. Lens manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Vision has brought in recycling firm TerraCycle as have all the others, with the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme also accepting lenses and packaging waste from other inner-eyewear makers. [PR]