Green December Day 17 - Eye Contacts
I’ve stopped… Disposing my eye contacts down the drain.
Turns out disposing of your contacts down the drain or in the toilet are not responsible and since they aren’t recyclable, they should generally go into the garbage.
Another solution you can make if you wear contacts is considering switching over to monthly instead of daily contacts. You might have to be a little more careful of sterilizing your contacts each day, but it’s a small chore for big waste and money savings.
If you’re in the US, Bausch and Lomb have collaborated with Terracycle to offer a free eye contacts recycling program called the One-by-One program and encourages practitioner offices to also offer recycling programs. I’ve still yet to see any initiatives like this to start in Canada, but let me know if you find a way to properly recycle them!
45 milion people in the US alone wear contact lenses which means that 1.8-3.6 million contacts are flushed per year. These contacts end up in the lakes and oceans because they are too small to be filtered out through the conventional waste water filtration systems. They also can’t be traditionally recycled due to the same problem of their size.
Because they are non-degradable, contact lenses tend to break into micro-plastics over time which can be ingested by wildlife and even in your drinking water.