Alcon expands Plastic Bank partnership

The manufacturer seeks to offset plastic used in select surgical and vision care products

plastic bottle
Pexels/Catherine Sheila

Alcon has expanded its partnership with Plastic Bank to offset plastic waste used by the manufacturer for select products in its surgical and vision care segments.

Alcon partnered with the social enterprise to remove one tonne of ocean-bound plastic waste from vulnerable coastal communities for every tonne of plastic used in Alcon Precision1 and Dailies Total1 contact lenses and packaging.

In 2022, Plastic Bank removed more than 649,000 kg of plastic waste from the environment to offset plastic used by Alcon for certain surgical and vision care products. The company said this was equivalent to the removal of more than 32 million plastic bottles.

For its vision care products, Alcon offset its plastic footprint for Dailies Total1 and Precision1 in 2022, removing more than 600,000kg of plastic.

The surgical product programme helped to extract 42,672kg of ocean-bound plastic.

Alcon has extended its offsetting programme for 2023 to include Systane Eye Drops, which are sold in more than 30 markets.

This would represent 150,856kg of plastic, the company said, equivalent to preventing more than 7.5 million plastic bottles from reaching the ocean.

The programmes including Alcon’s Dailies Total1, Total30, Precision1 and Systane are set to achieve plastic neutrality across more than 90 countries.

All plastic used in Ultrasert and AutonoMe preloaded intraocular lens delivery systems will continue to be offset in 2023.

Plastic Bank builds recycling systems in under-developed communities whereby collection members can exchange plastic collected for benefits such as health insurance, grocery vouchers and school supplies.

Charles Herget, head of environmental, social and governance, at Alcon, explained: “While single-use plastics are essential to the safety and convenience of medical products, we strive to minimise their impact on the environment by supporting important initiatives like this programme with Plastic Bank.”

“Our hope with this continued partnership is to further promote the offset of waste with the products in our Surgical and Vision Care portfolio to make an even greater impact on our sustainability efforts,” Herget continued.

Alcon has also developed a Green Innovations Surgical Team that is working with the Research and Development team to remove up to 90% of packaging and shipping waste across the company’s major global products.