The “Acuvue Contact Lens Recycle Programme”, established by Johnson & Johnson Vision2, has been made available in Boots Opticians and select independent practices.

It’s the first initiative in the UK to offer the public the opportunity to recycle their contact lenses, the blister and foil packaging after use for free.

The programme is available for all contact lens users, regardless of their preferred brand.

The aim of the scheme is to cut down on the quantity of plastic waste that ends up in the UK’s landfills and waterways and to encourage people to dispose of their contact lenses in a sustainable way.

According to research commissioned by Johnson & Johnson and conducted by One Poll in November 2018, a fifth of contact lens users get rid of their used contact lenses by flushing them down the toilet or the sink.

Additional research also found that more than two thirds of consumers aren’t sure about which of their household items can be recycled, and more than a third of contact lens wearers aren’t aware of whether they can recycle their lenses or not.

The scheme will allow recycling company TerraCycle to transform used contact lenses into new products, such as outdoor furniture or plastic lumber.

“Seventy-seven per cent of British contact lens 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,” said Sandra Rasche, area vice president in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

“As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change, protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new UK recycling programme represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.”

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