Contact lenses can now be recycled for free at 1,000 points across Britain after launch of plastic waste crackdown
- Lens wearers will be able to drop them off in Boots Opticians and other locations
- Research found one in five people flush used lenses down the toilet or sink
- More than a third of people were not aware that contact lenses can be recycled
The first free national recycling scheme for contact lenses has been launched to tackle plastic waste.
Wearers of any brand of lens will be able to drop them off in recycling bins at Boots Opticians and a number of independent practices, or have them collected.
Research by Johnson & Johnson found one in five of the estimated 3.7million wearers in Britain get rid of their used lenses by flushing them down the toilet or sink.
The study also found that more than a third were not aware lenses and their packaging can be recycled.
Wearers of any brand of lens (stock photo) will be able to drop them off in recycling bins at Boots Opticians and a number of independent practices, or have them collected
The scheme will reduce the amount of lenses and packaging going into landfill or finding their way into our seas and oceans, and turn lenses into products such as outdoor furniture.
Sandra Rasche, of Johnson & Johnson, which has joined forces with recycling company TerraCycle, said: ‘Seventy-seven per cent of wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment.’
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The Daily Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign has highlighted how our seas are being poisoned by plastic waste.
Around 12 million tons end up in our oceans every year, choking and entangling fish, turtles and mammals, while plastic microbeads eaten by sea creatures cause starvation and enter the food chain.
It is hoped the new recycling scheme will eventually expand to provide contact lens users with more than 1,000 drop-off points.
Lenses can also be sent off using free postage, or by arranging a pick-up with a courier service. Details on drop-off location points can be found on the TerraCycle and Johnson & Johnson Acuvue websites.
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