First-of-its-Kind Contact Lens Recycling Program in the United States Diverts Nearly 31,000 Lbs. of Waste
BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Nov. 15, 2018 /CNW/ -- Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE:/TSX:BHC), today announced on America Recycles Day that its exclusive ONE by ONE Recycling Program has recycled a combined total of more than five million units of used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils since the program's inception in November 2016. The program is made possible through a collaboration with TerraCycle®, a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste. To date, Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle have diverted nearly 31,000 pounds of used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils, the equivalent of approximately two and a half times the weight of an elephant, from oceans, lakes, streams and landfills.
"Up until two years ago, there wasn't a program that allowed contact lens wearers to properly dispose of or recycle their contact lens materials without ensuring they did not end up in our environment," said Amy Butler, vice president, Global Environment, Health, Safety + Sustainability, Bausch Health. "By providing this solution to eye care professionals and their patients, we are making strides to protect our environment from used contact lens materials and instead turning them into a variety of post-consumer products, such as recycled picnic tables and garden beds."
In August 2018, Arizona State University published a study stating that up to 20 percent of consumers in the United States flush their contact lens waste down the drain, contributing to a potential total of 3.36 billion contact lenses in the environment. While contact lens materials are recyclable, when placed into regular curbside recycling bins, their small size causes them to be filtered out at recycling facilities and directed to the waste stream.
"We hope the results of our study help contact lens wearers understand what happens once the lifespan of these materials has ended and how their actions to dispose of them can significantly impact our environment," said Rolf Halden, engineering professor and director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University. "Now, with the ONE by ONE Recycling program, contact lens wearers have a way to properly recycle these materials and their packaging in order to help reduce the environmental impact of contact lens waste."
The Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program is available to contact lens wearers and optometrists in the United States. Contact lens wearers can either take their used contact lenses and packaging to any of the nearly 3,000 participating eye care professionals' offices or mail them via a pre-paid shipping label at BauschRecycles.com. Registered eye care professionals with the ONE by ONE Recycling Program are also provided custom recycling bins for collection in the office. Once the materials are received by Terracycle, the materials are then recycled into post-consumer products.
"Our practice is proud to be one of the nearly 3,000 offices across the country participating in the ONE by ONE Recycling program," said Gina Wesley, O.D., Complete Eye Care of Medina, Minn. "My patients appreciate having the ability to properly recycle their contact lenses and packaging in an environmentally responsible way, especially those who prefer to wear daily disposable contact lenses and are concerned about the waste these materials create."
In addition to the United States, Bausch + Lomb also has similar contact lens recycling programs in The Netherlands and Australia. To learn more about the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program, visit www.bauschrecycles.com.
Founded in 2001, TerraCycle, Inc., a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from used chip bags to coffee capsules to cigarette butts. The waste is collected through free, national, brand-funded recycling programs, as well as various consumer and government-funded models. The collected waste is reused, upcycled or recycled into a variety of affordable, sustainable consumer products and industrial applications. Each year, across 20 countries, TerraCycle collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste, donating millions of dollars to schools and charities in the process. To learn more about TerraCycle, please visit www.terracycle.com.
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. www.asu.edu.
About the Biodesign Institute
The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University integrates leading-edge research in biology, engineering and computer science to address challenging problems posed by disease, depletion of natural resources and threats to our national security. Understanding and emulating nature is essential to solving these problems, and is the unifying thread in the highly-diverse research of the Institute. The collaborative structure of the Institute is designed to accelerate discoveries and translate them into real-world applications in healthcare, engineering and environmental sustainability. For information, visit www.biodesign.asu.edu.
About Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb, a Bausch Health Companies Inc. company, is a leading global eye health organization that is solely focused on helping people see better to live better. Its core businesses include over-the-counter products, dietary supplements, eye care products, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments. Bausch + Lomb develops, manufactures and markets one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry, which is available in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.bausch.com.
About Bausch Health
Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC) is a global company whose mission is to improve people's lives with our health care products. We develop, manufacture and market a range of pharmaceutical, medical device and over-the-counter products, primarily in the therapeutic areas of eye health, gastroenterology and dermatology. We are delivering on our commitments as we build an innovative company dedicated to advancing global health. More information can be found at www.bauschhealth.com.
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