2018 became a big year for people taking notice how much of a problem the single use plastic waste is. Our national treasure Sir David Attenborough got the nation blubbering in his latest series of Blue Planet when he discussed the sheer volume of plastic waste effecting our oceans and wildlife and it has become apparent that we need to make fast and huge changes in the way we dispose of our waste.
With this in mind, we have been working hard to try and make changes within our practice. We have been a supporter in the Vision Aid overseas scheme for years, where we collect old frames and Vision Aid overseas then donate them to third world countries, providing much needed aid to the poorest of communities. We became the first opticians in Penarth to sell eco glasses housing the brand Eco eyewear by Modo, frames that are made from recycled materials and for every frame sold a tree is planted, and they are our most popular brand. (Read our blog about Eco Eyewear here https://bit.ly/2T6xK2n)
We still feel we have a long way to go in how we can better our recycling and over the last few months we have been trying to find a way to be able to offer a contact lens recycling service.
Soft contact lenses are one of the best inventions to have happened. Many of us with perfect vision don’t quite realise how detrimental poor vision can be to everyday life. The options for lenses are ever changing and growing but with this so is the waste. After all soft contact lenses are advertised as disposable lenses. That very word disposable is a big reason our planet is being so consumed with single use plastic.
In the UK alone, over 725 million* are thrown or flushed away every year with 8 million tonnes of plastic finding its way into our oceans. We need to radically reduce these figures and we know have a way you can do this.
We are extremely proud to be announce that we are now members of the Acuvue contact lens recycle programme in partnership with Terracycle and it couldn’t be simpler to join in.
If you collect your soft contact lenses, the plastic blister packs they come in and the foils at home. Then whenever you have time pop into our practice you can just drop them in the recycling box. Job done.
When our box is full, we then box all the waste and a courier will come and collect it where they will take it to the depot for it to be recycled and made into something shiny and new.
When we spoke to our rep, she informed us that the first project is remaking the waste into new rulers for schools and we can’t wait to see what other projects they start after that.
There is also a way for you to take part in this scheme from the comfort of our own home. If you follow this link you can download a shipping label and arrange a UPS collection. You just must make sure you have a good amount to ship beforehand.
We really hope you join in on this scheme, we couldn’t be prouder to be Penarth’s drop off point.
Q. What can patients recycle?
A. We accept any brand of soft contact lens, blister packs and foil.
Q. Is there any part of the contact lens waste that isn’t accepted?
A. The carboard box they come in are not accepted, they can be recycled in your own home recycling.
Q. What if I want to recycle at home?
A. You can! Simply visit www.acuvue.co.uk/recycle to download a shipping label
Q. Do we have to be a patient with yourselves?
A. No. We would rather be a stopping point for everyone to be able to help the planet, so this is open to everyone and anyone.
Q. Is there a charge for this service?
A. Absolutely not. If anything, we feel we should reward you for being awesome and reducing your plastic waste.