TerraCycle collects more than 100,000 pieces of contact lens waste

contact lens

More than 100,000 pieces of contact lens waste have been diverted from landfill in Australia as the Bausch + Lomb Recycling Programme hits its one-year anniversary.

Bausch + Lomb launched its recycling programme in partnership with TerraCycle in 2017 to help Australians keep contact lenses, lens cases and blister packs out of landfill.

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Any contact lens waste can be shipped to TerraCycle for no charge, who will shred, wash and melt it down into sustainable raw material to use in manufacturing instead of virgin plastic.

A number of public drop-off locations are also available around Australia in environmentally conscious optometry stores.

For each kilogram collected and sent to TerraCycle, Bausch + Lomb donates $1 to the Optometry Giving Sight foundation.

Optometrist at Bailey Nelson Claremont in Perth Jayson Chong said collecting locals’ contact lens waste helps his team champion sustainability.

“While most of our customers are educated about the environment, many are surprised to learn that we can also recycle contact lenses!” Mr Chong said.

“Running an eco-friendly business helps us build a good reputation and promote workplace satisfaction for our staff.”

Optometrist at Point Cook & Sanctuary Lakes Eyecare in Point Cook in Victoria Jenkin Yau said joining the program was an important way for his store to contribute to the community.

“We felt it was important to become a public drop-off location for the program as our customers like to do the right think socially and environmentally,” Mr Yau said.

“Additionally, the generous donations from Bausch + Lomb to Optometry Giving Sight made the decision very easy.”

TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand General Manager Jean Bailliard said they are thrilled to celebrate this milestone, as it is a huge win for the environment.

“We’re really driven by the commitment of companies like Bausch + Lomb who are dedicated to tackling waste.”

Australia Post launches its Environmental Action Plan

As part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, Australia Post has announced its first ever Environmental Action Plan. The announcement was made on World Environment Day.

The program is part of Australia Post’s commitment to a greater environmentally sustainable model. By 2020 the company aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 per cent.

This is estimated to save Australia Post up to $10 million annually.

With a network covering 11.7 million addresses and including the operation of some 16,000 vehicles, Australia Post is the country’s largest delivery network.

The Environmental Action Plan according to Janelle Hopkins, Australia Post, Chief Financial Officer, will help drive sustainability and allow the business to explore new avenues to improving its customer service.

“That saving of $10 million every year enables Australia Post to invest in improving and creating services our customers want to us,” said Hopkins.

“Since 2000 we have reduced our carbon emissions by 20 per cent, which is significant given domestic parcel volumes are continuing to grow, and more than two million parcels were delivered in a single day during Christmas last year.”

Hopkins said Australia Post in the last eight years had been working aggressively to improve its emissions. In 2017 the company installed the largest single-roof solar panel system in Australia at its Sydney Parcels Facility.

“We are seeing immediate returns as we unlock renewable energy at some of our busiest sites which helps to insulate the business against rising energy prices,” said Hopkins.

“Our first ever Environmental Action Plan is a step towards continuing to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our target of a 25 per cent reduction by 2020.”

In a statement Hopkins said Australia Post was also looking to leverage its existing network to support communities.

“Our partnerships with groups like TerraCycle, Planet Ark and Mobile Muster, has seen us remove 26,000 tonnes of material from landfill. We also helped develop the world-first Nespresso recycling satchel to send used coffee pods to a purpose-built recycling centre – and out own satchel packaging is now completely recyclable.”

“We’re excited to see Australia Post make an even greater commitment towards delivering better commercial and environmental outcomes for the Australian community,” said Hopkins.