16 Dec Contact Lens Users are Damaging The Environment
In the UK it is estimated that over 750 million contact lenses are disposed of incorrectly every year.
Over 4.8 million people in Great Britain alone wear contact lenses. Astonishingly over 97% confirm that they do not dispose of these correctly. Most of these lenses end up down sinks, toilets or in household waste. As a result this is having a hugely detrimental effect on the environment.
When lenses go through sewage systems, they break down into smaller particles which form microplastics. These microplastics pollute the oceans and are tragically mistaken for food by marine animals. The University of Exeter released a study which found that every single seal, dolphin and whale washed up on Britain’s shores had traces of plastic in its stomach.
Managing Director of Concept Eye Clinic, Vik Kumar said “We are committed to ensuring that the manufacturing of most of our optical frames are predicated on sustainability. In doing so locally, we aim to contribute globally to reduce our footprint on this planet and we are delighted at Concept to be in partnership with TerraCycle and Acuvue, and proud to introduce our own ‘Contact Lens Recycle Programme’. As a community opticians we think locally and act globally with your lens recycling.”
The Government has recently put measures in place to reduce plastic waste from straws and cotton buds. Their view on contact lenses is still unknown but the impact that this waste has on the environment is substantial.