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11/15/2018, Thursday

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Kristy Marks
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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 – Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health company, 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.

“In two years, we’ve made significant strides in raising awareness and collecting used contact lens material waste through the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling program across the nation,” said John Ferris, general manager, U.S. Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb. “It is a reflection of our company-wide commitment to becoming a more sustainable company by reducing our environmental footprint and we thank all our customers and their patients for their participation. We’ve also been pleased to hear that this program has been a practice builder for many of our customers who find their patients appreciate their concern and attention to how these materials are impacting the environment.” 

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 optometrists and their patients in the United States. Patients can bring their used contact lenses and packaging to any of the nearly 3,000 participating eye care professionals’ offices. Registered accounts are provided custom recycling bins and office materials. Once the recycling bins are full, the practice mails the used lens materials to TerraCycle for proper recycling using a free shipping label. When the materials are received by TerraCycle, they are then recycled into post-consumer products, such as park benches and picnic tables. 

“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.”  

To register and learn more about the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling program, visit or speak to your Bausch + Lomb sales representative.

About TerraCycle
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

About ASU
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.

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

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  

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Bausch + Lomb is a trademark of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates.
TerraCycle is a trademark of TerraCycle, Inc. 
© 2018 Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. 


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