How to recycle your used contact lenses

As contact lens wearers, we all contribute to the amount of plastic waste found in the environment. Each and every year, 3.7 million contact lenses wearers in the UK alone throw away their plastic contact lenses and packaging. In fact, a shocking 1 in 5 simply dispose of them down the toilet or sink


Following the announcement to ban all use of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds, it’s made us think about what we can do to encourage our customers to reduce the amount of plastic waste found in the environment.

Whereas with plastic straws, stirrers etc. there are other alternatives that we are already seeing the big corporations embrace however, with contact lenses, there isn’t really any such alternative.

Our impact today on plastic waste and our responsibility to reduce it has never been so profound.

In order for us to do our part, we need to ensure proper recycling of our contact lenses and packaging. Fortunately, through the Contact Lens Recycle Programme, this has never been easier or more accessible.

How to Recycle Your Used Contact Lenses

Leading contact lens manufacturer Acuvue has partnered up with global recycling specialists Terracycle to create the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme - a network of over 1000 drop off points up and down the UK. 

These locations, consisting of Boots Opticians and countless independent optical practices, allow you to drop off your contact lens waste so that it can be recycled properly and efficiently. It’s more than likely that your nearest drop off point will be no further than your local town centre.

If you have any contact lens waste and want to start recycling them, then find your nearest drop off point using the link on the image below. Head to your nearest drop off point and you will find a contact lens recycling bin inside.

What Waste Can You Recycle?

The contact lens recycling programme will accept any brand of soft, disposable contact lenses. Acuvue, CooperVision, dailies, monthlies – they’re all fine.

As well as the lenses, you can also recycle the foil and blister packaging that comes with it.

Waste that is NOT Accepted: 

  • Cardboard box packaging – these can be recycled along with your standard household recycling scheme
  • Rigid gas-permeable or hard contact lenses
  • Contact lenses solution bottles
  • Eye drop bottles
  • Contact lens cases