As practical as everyday contact lenses and daily use can be for those who are not blessed with 20/20 eyesight, they can also harm the environment and contribute to microplastic pollution when flushed into the drain ,
The good news is that the blister packs of your contact lenses can be recycled in a way that requires very little time and effort. If you're a contact lens wearer and want to do your part to avoid plastic waste, there's a simple solution: just put the empty blister packs in a plastic bottle and drop them into the plastic wastepaper basket as soon as it's full. (Just make sure you discard the foil from the blister pack first.)
It's always better to use as few plastic bottles as possible, so do it only if you've used those bottles anyway. If your household is pretty anti-plastic, there is another option. The contact lens manufacturer Bausch + Lomb offers its own recycling program called One by One. The company worked with TerraCycle to reduce waste by recycling all parts of the product, including the blister pack used, the coversheet and the contact lenses themselves. The company accepts all brands of contact lens products and estimates that it has recycled more than 25,000 pounds of packaging so far.
"Upon receipt, contact lenses and blister packs are separated and cleaned," explains Bausch + Lomb on his website. "The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and plastic blister pack components are melted into plastic that can be recycled into recycled products."
The reason why so many plastic blister packs end up in landfills is because the pieces too small to be sorted properly in recycling plants. The same problem applies to plastic bottle caps, so it is recommended to keep the caps closed as long as your recycling program allows it.
Optometry offices across the country are participating in the Bausch + Lomb recycling program, and you can visit the company's website to find out if there are delivery points in your area. If it's convenient, you can also put the items in a box and send them with a free shipping label that's available online.