After one of my zero waste presentations, I was asked if I would keep the contents of my waste jar or eventually dispose of it in landfill. I said I would keep it for now because it’s a useful demonstration tool and because things change over time; a zero-waste solution could be just around the corner for some of the stuff in my jar.

Contact lenses and blister packs in waste jar.

Well, I’m excited to say that time has arrived for my used contact lenses and blister packs.

When my Terracycle newsletter arrived today announcing their FREE Bausch + Lomb Recycling Programme I immediately signed-in to my Terrcycle account, requested a free shipping label, then emailed it to my local post office to print because I don’t have a printer. Next, I boxed up all my lenses and blister packs, and when the netball season ends in three weeks, I’ll add the final ones and send them all off.

Used contact lenses and blister packs ready to be posted to Terracycle for recycling.

I’ve already recycled the foil component of my blister packs but you can send that along to Terracycle too. Terracycle says “Once received, the contact lenses and blister packs are separated by composition and cleaned. The metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and plastic blister pack components are melted into plastic that can be remolded to make recycled products”.

One of the great things about this programme is that a $1 donation is made to Optometry Giving Sight for every kilogram of waste received. Also, if you are an eye optometrist or you would like to provide the public with an opportunity to recycle their used contact lenses and blister packs, you can register your location as a public drop-off point. Optometrists who join the program will automatically be listed on a map. I am going to alert some local optometrists to this program and it would be great if you did too.

Finally, we all know reusable lenses generate less waste but they aren’t suitable for all people all the time. If you’ve never looked into reusable lenses, then perhaps you should talk to your optometrist about that first. Recycling the lenses and blister packs is a great option if reusable lenses aren’t suitable for you.

16 thoughts

  1. Hi
    You mentioned you don’t have a printer, is this to reduce waste? Also how does it work by sending it to the Post Office? Do they print it off and have it ready for you or do you have to wait? And what is the cost involved? I hate having to purchase printer ink and was trying to work out a way to remove the printer, that’s all.
    Thank you for your great articles, I look forward to reading them when they land in my inbox.


    1. Thanks Susan 😊. I haven’t had a printer for years and it is to reduce waste and expenses, and also clutter around the house. I don’t think every post office would do this, our post office is in a very small town. From memory I think he charges me 20cents a page and he usually prints it off when I get there, but sometimes he has it ready. Newsagents and office supply stores often offer services like this too but you will probably need to take a USB stick instead of emailing your documents. Hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I checked at Johnson & Johnson to find out if they have a similar program – because I use their Acuvue lenses. I couldn’t find one, so I wrote to them to ask that question, and will report back! Thanks for this update! If they don’t have a recycling program, I will be needing to change my lens provider!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, I don’t know a program like this but I think if there was one it would be through TerraCycle. These packs make up a large volume of the waste in my jar. On person told me they file off the foil and then recycle the plastic in their regular recycle bin. If you’re blister packs are all foil you can recycle those with your other foil. Let me know if you find out any more. 🙂


  3. With the re-usable contact lenses I have to use saline solution daily and change the storage case (monthly recommended) do you have an alternative, or just recycle those as well?


    1. Is there any reason why little glass jars or tins couldn’t be used for storing the contact lenses? Maybe a handful of little glass jars could be rotated as they can be sterilised at home in the dishwasher or oven or a water bath. If there is no recycle symbol on the storage cases, I don’t think they will be recyclable.


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