Bausch + Lomb announced that its exclusive ONE by ONE Recycling program has recycled nearly 27 million used contact lenses, top foils and blister packs since launching in November 2016. The program, made possible through a collaboration with TerraCycle, a leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, has diverted more than 162,000 pounds of contact lens waste from oceans, lakes, streams and landfills.
“As a leader in the eye health industry and the originator of the first soft contact lens, we are proud to provide the ONE by ONE Recycling program to contact lens wearers to help prevent these used materials do not end up in our environment,” John Ferris, general manager, U.S. Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb, said in a company news release. “In addition, as part of our overall approach to sustainability, we continually evaluate the full life cycle of our lenses. In fact, many of our contact lenses, including Biotrue ONEday daily disposables, are manufactured in facilities that have adopted zero-waste-to-landfill initiatives and have achieved diversion rates of 94-99% during the past few years, further supporting our longstanding commitment to doing all we can to lessen our company’s overall environmental footprint.”
Today, more than 5,500 optometry practices are registered with the ONE by ONE Recycling program. To participate, contact lens wearers can bring their used contact lenses and packaging to one of these offices, which collects the used lens materials in a custom recycling bin provided by Bausch + Lomb. Once the bin is filled, the optometry practice will ship the materials to TerraCycle for proper recycling using a pre-paid shipping label.
“Millions of people wear contact lenses every day to help them see, but many do not realize the significant impact that these materials can have on the environment,” Tom Szaky, founder and CEO, TerraCycle, said in a company news release. “In just four years, we have recycled hundreds of thousands of these used materials, removing them from our environment, and instead using them to give back to the community. It is a program we’re proud to be part of and one we look forward to building upon in collaboration with Bausch + Lomb for years to come.”
Additionally, for every 10 pounds of material received from the ONE by ONE Recycling Program, TerraCycle donates $10 to Optometry Giving Sight, an organization that funds programs that provide eye examinations and low-cost eyeglasses to people in need, including tens of millions of children with uncorrected myopia.
In 2019, Bausch + Lomb took the program one step further by repurposing the recycled waste and combining it with other recycled material to create custom training modules that were donated to the Guide Dog Foundation, a national not-for-profit that trains guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. The modules, which included benches, tables, waste stations and an agility ramp, are used to train the dogs and to further enhance the organization’s Smithtown, New York campus for those who visit.
To register and learn more about the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling program, visit www.BauschRecycles.com.