Black & Lizars has introduced a contact lens recycling scheme with the installation of recycling bins at all 12 of its practices in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The Scottish optical group hopes to stop its 8000 contact lens patients from improperly disposing of their lenses.
Through the Acuvue Contact Lens Recycling Scheme with TerraCycle, Black & Lizars aims to recycle 30,000 contact lenses by the end of the year.
The independent is also investing in a new campaign to educate patients on the damage caused to the environment by the improper disposal of contact lenses.
Clinical services manager at Black & Lizars, Graham Freeman, said: “When you consider that there are four million contact lens wearers in the UK and with more than 20% admitting to flushing them down the toilet on a regular basis, you begin to comprehend the extent of the environmental impact.”
“We know that people want to be more environmentally conscious, but there is still a lot to be done to properly educate people on the simple steps they can take. We’re helping customers to make a difference. All they’ll need to do is bring their used contact lenses to their local practice and we’ll take care of the rest,” he added.
Any brand of soft disposable contact lenses, including daily or monthly, and any brand of blister packaging and foil is accepted as part of the Acuvue scheme.
Black & Lizars highlighted that it has also stopped stocking plastic carrier bags and installed recycling stations at all of its practices as part of the group’s wider efforts to reduce single-use plastic usage.
TerraCycle offers businesses the chance to redeem charitable gifts in return for waste. The more contact lens materials that Black & Lizars recycles, the more money will be donated to its nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Scotland.