Wednesday, 29 May 2024
    Contact lens packaging to escape landfill limbo
    Health Care, Sustainability, Sustainable

    Contact lens packaging to escape landfill limbo

    With an eye-watering 250 to 500 million contact lens packages sent to landfill each year, a project led by National Pharmacies and recycling group Opticycle is aiming to redirect the waste and recycle it instead.  

    While Australia looks to cut down its single-use plastics, the new project that will recycle contact lens packaging plans to divert more than 600,000 units of contact lens packaging from landfill in six months. 

    Not only will the packages be recycled, but in a strategic move, the packaging will be transformed into plastic products and aluminium products – potentially finding a new life as contact lens packaging.  

    National Pharmacies CEO Vito Borello said, "The good news is it doesn't go to landfill, it goes to another venue where it gets recycled into plastic and aluminium.”  

    Borello elaborates, "The packs get picked up when the bin that holds the pack is full, then it gets taken away to be repurposed." This implies that each lens package makes a meaningful contribution. 

    In a post-pandemic landscape where the medical industry was alerted to its potential waste, there is a determined effort to seek solutions for waste reduction. Foremost among these concerns are single-use plastics, including sterile blister packaging, personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks.  

    Professor Sahajwalla, a recycling expert from the University of New South Wales points out, "On one hand, patient care requires these items that are being used…But also, we need to ask how we're going to find solutions and be proactively looking for what's already out there."  

    Simultaneously, Professor Sahajwalla underscores the significance of maintaining high-quality standards for the end products. "To be able to create materials and create products that are quality and have the performance it's able to meet is going to be important," she said.  

    Echoing Professor Sahajwalla’s sentiments, our experience in health and care consumables reinforces the importance of a reliable supply of quality medical products in the supply chain. We take pride in offering an extensive range of top-tier continence and wound care products, readily accessible to meet diverse needs.