Laval, Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has announced its wholly owned subsidiary Bausch + Lomb’s One by One Recycling Program has recycled more than 1 million used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils since its launch in December 2016.
Through a partnership with Trenton, New Jersey-based TerraCycle, a leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle postconsumer materials, the One by One Recycling Program has diverted more than 7,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
In addition, for every pound of accepted packaging received through the program, a $1 donation is made to Optometry Giving Sight, the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision by providing eye exams and glasses to those in need.
“We are globally committed to environmental sustainability while also delivering innovations that meet the needs of our physicians and their patients,” says Joseph C. Papa, chairman and CEO, Valeant. “We are proud of the One by One Recycling Program, which has made significant strides in its first year by helping to reduce contact lens waste as well as helping to provide basic vision care to those who are in need.”
Although contact lenses and their packaging are generally composed of recyclable plastic or foil, they often end up being filtered out of most standard material recovery facilities (MRFs) because of their small size. Currently, the end-to-end trail of materials generated from contact lens packaging annually in the United States could circle the Earth three times, says Bausch + Lomb. The One by One Recycling Program provides contact lens wearers the opportunity to properly recycle their used materials and reduce the amount of waste deposited to landfills across the country.
To participate in the program, contact lens wearers can print a free One by One shipping label and ship their used blister packs, top foil and contact lenses via any UPS location or drop off their materials at a participating eye doctor’s office. All participating offices in the United States (more than 2,000 to date) can be found on the program’s website, www.bauschrecycles.com.