a website banner telling users to subscribe to it's newsletter

Bausch+Lomb’s Recycling Program

Bausch+Lomb’s Recycling Program

July 20, 2019

Since the program's introduction in November 2016, discarded contact lenses, blister packs, and top foils have been recycled more than 9.2 million times, according to Bausch + Lomb's ONE by ONE Recycling Program, the first contact lens recycling program of its type. Through a partnership with TerraCycle®, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of difficult-to-recycle post-consumer waste, the ONE by ONE Recycling program is made available free of charge to eye care professionals and their patients across the United States. By the end of March 2019, about 55,200 pounds—or around the weight of an adult whale shark—had been collected and repurposed in total.

“When we first began working with TerraCycle in early 2016, we were surprised to learn that even though the material used to manufacture contact lenses, blister packs and top foils are recyclable, the materials don’t end up being recycled if placed in standard ‘blue bins’ due to their small size,” said John Ferris, general manager, U.S. Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb. “We launched the ONE by ONE Recycling Program to provide contact lens wearers a straightforward, simple solution to ensure that these used contact lens materials are properly recycled. We are proud of the milestones that our partnership with TerraCycle has achieved and thank the eye care professionals and patients for participating in the program. Together we are helping to reduce the environmental impact these materials create.”

The Association of Plastic Recyclers claims that items less than three inches in diameter are filtered out by the industry-standard screen size that detects and removes unrecyclable polymers. These little things are either routed to landfills or contaminate other recyclable materials since normal recycling facilities cannot process them.

“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, CEO, TerraCycle. “It’s through beneficial partnerships, like the one we enjoy with Bausch + Lomb, and ground-breaking initiatives, like the ONE by ONE Recycling Program, that drive awareness of the issue, elicit change in the consumer and lead to the preservation of our environment for future generations to come.”

The initiative encourages contact lens wearers to recycle their used contact lenses and packaging at any of the more than 3,500 participating eye care practitioners' clinics using the specialized recycling containers that are made especially for registered accounts. Once the recycling containers are full, the optometrist office uses a free mailing label from the bauschrecycles website to send the used lens materials to TerraCycle for proper recycling. TerraCycle receives the materials, which are then recycled into post-consumer products.

“The ONE by ONE Recycling program has been an integral part of my practice since it became available,” said Gina Wesley, O.D., from Complete Eye Care, Medina, MN. “We have recycling bins throughout the office and patients are pleased to hear about it during their appointments, especially those who wear daily disposable lenses, like Biotrue® ONEday contact lenses, and have expressed concern about the added waste they create. I applaud Bausch + Lomb for leading the way in providing this solution for my practice and patients and helping to minimize the waste these materials generate.”

Source: Bausch + Lomb