In order to maintain excellent eye health, it is important to change your contact lenses in regular intervals. Overwearing, overusing, and stretching your contact lenses can lead to corneal ulcers and infections, which can lead to deep corneal scarring and vision loss. You may have read some of these horror stories online and wondered, "can this really happen!?" Unfortunately, yes. I have seen patients with permanent scarring and vision loss, and even young patients in need of corneal transplants due to improper contact lens use. This is why I stress yearly corneal evaluations for my contact lens wearers and often recommend daily use contact lenses that you only wear once. This allows my patients to put a clean, sterile lens in their eyes every day.
As important as it is to take care of our eye health when wearing contact lenses, we must also be aware of the proper disposal of contact lenses to reduce the adverse effects they may have on the environment.
Some of my patients are rightfully concerned about the environmental impact contact lenses can have on our planet, especially when using daily disposable contact lenses every day of the year. For one individual, that's 730 contact lenses along with their packaging that is going into our waste baskets! Even worse, some of us have been known to flush our contact lenses down the toilet or sink which contributes to the micro-plastics that are polluting our oceans, sea life, and ultimately through the food chain, our bodies.
DON'T WORRY! WE CAN HELP.
Your contact lens boxes and cardboard packaging can be recycled with your paper products in a standard recycling bin. Make sure to check your local guidelines.
What about the blister packs and the contacts themselves?
Most contact lens packages are stamped "No. 5" for recycling, but remember, you would need to remove the foil packaging if you go this route. Even still, due to their small size, this plastic can get filtered out and still end up in the landfill.
Fortunately, Baush & Lomb has joined with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that specializes in hard-to-recycle materials like the small plastics of contact lenses. We at Professional Eye Care of Tuscarawas County have chosen to become an official ONE by ONE Recycling Center!
How it works:
Bring your used plastic blister packs, foil tops, and contact lenses to our drop off station at
217 N. Broadway Street in New Philadelphia, Ohio. We will be happy to take care of the recycling from there!
Your contact lenses, plastic blister packs, and foil tops will be shipped to TerraCycle where they can be recycled properly.
THANK YOU FOR RECYCLING.