Black & Lizars is helping to save the world’s oceans by encouraging customers to reduce their microplastic pollution and recycle contact lenses.
The leading Scottish optician has joined the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycling Scheme and has installed recycling bins at all 12 stores across Glasgow and Edinburgh in a bid to stop its 8,000 contact-wearing customers improperly disposing of lenses.
Every year, Scots flush millions of contact lenses down the toilet or sink which eventually make their way into the ocean. Black & Lizars aims to recycle 30,000 lenses by the end of the year as part of the UK-wide ACUVUE scheme. ACUVUE hopes to recycle 2.3million contacts across Scotland by the end of 2019. Black & Lizars will also invest in a new campaign to educate them on the damage caused to the environment by improper disposal.
Graham Freeman, Clinical Services Manager at Black & Lizars, said: “We are only starting to fully understand the harm plastic has on the environment, and particularly our oceans.
“While there has been a lot of work done to educate people on plastic straws and single-use bags, other household items have not received the same attention.
“When you consider that there are some four million contact lens wearers in the UK, and with more than 20% admitting to flushing them down the toilet on a regular basis, you begin to comprehend the extent of the environmental impact.
“We know that people want to be more environmentally conscious, but there is still a lot to be done to properly educate people on the simple steps they can take.
“We’re helping customers to make a difference. All they’ll need to do is bring their used contact lenses to their local practice and we’ll take care of the rest.”
Black & Lizars will deliver the recycling programme in partnership with ACUVUE. Any brand of soft disposable contact lenses, whether daily or monthly, any brand of blister packaging and any brand of foil from the packaging will be accepted for recycling.
It is the latest in a series of corporate responsibility initiatives designed to promote and protect the communities within which they operate. Money raised from the recycling programme will also be donated to the firm’s nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Scotland.
Black & Lizars is dedicated to reducing single-use plastic in the workplace, implementing a number of positive steps which make a big impact. Plastic carrier bags have been removed from the business, and recycling stations have been introduced in all practices.