Contact Lens wearers are urged to think twice about recycling

It is a fact that UK contact lens wearers throw more than 750 million contact lenses down the drain or into landfill every year, damaging the environment.

The findings of recent research amongst 3,000 wearer suggest that over 750 million contact lenses are being flushed down the drain or put in landfill every year. These lenses form microplastics, pollute the oceans and endanger marine life.

Almost 800 million plastic contact lenses are used by more than 4 million people in the UK each year and this is having a huge, but often overlooked, impact on the environment. Only 3% of people recycle their lenses. Most plastic waste from the contact lenses themselves and their packaging end up in the ocean or in landfill. Once in landfill it may take up to 500 years to decompose, potentially leaking pollutants into the soil and water.

Even more shocking, more than 1 in 4 people admitted to disposing of their lenses via the sink or toilet. The situation is even worse than had been previously thought. A similar study by contact lens manufacturer Johnson & Johnson found that 1 in 5 people were flushing their used lenses down the drain.

People who choose to use plastic contacts are being encouraged to dispose of their lenses responsibly.