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Free campaign to recycle contact lenses in the UK is backed by Derby optician

A free campaign for people to recycle their contact lenses is being backed by a leading independent Derby optician.

Davina Dosanjh, practice owner and optometrist at Richard Petrie Optometrists on Burton Road in Littleover, has set up a specialist collection point for people wanting to recycle their used contact lenses – as part of the first UK-based recycling programme.

The Littleover-based practice is one of only three drop off sites in Derby, which is working in partnership with Acuvue and global recycling specialist, TerraCycle.

Davina, who has been a fully-trained optometrist for more than 14 years, wanted to support the campaign which asked opticians practices in the UK to set up a collection point within their business. This month, she endorsed the recycling programme and launched a drop-off location at her busy practice.

Davina said:

“When I heard about the recycling campaign for contact lenses, I was very keen in getting involved.

“Before this new contact lens recycling scheme, customers had no way of recycling their contact lenses, blister packs and foils. I’m guessing they either threw them away in their bins or literally flushed the lenses down the toilet or sink.

“We set up the collection box in the practice and since then, we’ve been very, very busy with people coming in and dropping off their lenses. It is really encouraging to see so many customers taking advantage of our collection point. In this area of Derby, I know we are the only shop getting involved and I suppose that is why so many people are now recycling their lenses with us.”

It’s the UK’s first contact lens recycling scheme and wearers of any brand of soft lens can now recycle them.

The new campaign, which is now endorsed by Davina and her team at Richard Petrie Optometrists and launched at the beginning of 2019, aims to reduce plastic waste in landfill and the oceans by providing a simple and practical alternative.

The recycled contact lenses, and the blister and foil packaging will be turned into products like outdoor furniture.

To kick-start the recycling campaign, Richard Petrie Optometrists donated £5 to local charity, Sight Support Derbyshire, for every person who brought in their soft contact lenses.

Davina says:

“Until now, recycling contact lenses has been a real challenge for the 3.7 million people who wear them – now they don’t have to worry.

“Just bring them to us and we’ll do the rest. We’re committed to doing our part to protect our planet’s natural resources, combat climate change and reduce waste. It’s a positive step in the right direction and donating to Sight Support Derbyshire was also very rewarding.

“Plastics are a big problem and the long-term damage to the planet is worrying. Mixed waste has been a challenge to recycle for a long time – that’s why this scheme needs our support.”


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