The availability of contact lenses for sale in the UK has provided users with different options, but the proper way of disposing of used lenses should remain the same.
A study showed that simply flushing your old contact lenses down the sink or toilet has harmful effects on wastewater treatment. It could clog your pipes over time and even if it breaks down into smaller pieces, microplastics still pose a bigger threat to the environment.
Contact lenses are not recyclable given their small size, so disposing of those in a garbage bin with other solid wastes seems like a more prudent solution. Extended-wear lenses could be a better option instead of buying daily contact lenses, which require you to dispose of old lenses day in and day out.
If you think flushing it will not make any difference, take the amount of microplastics that are dumped in the U.S. The study estimated that Americans discard 14 billion contact lenses each year. This is a large number given that there are only around 45 million users in the country.
Most people decide to discard their lenses even if they are not yet expired, due to a variety of reasons, such as discomfort or pain in the eyes. However, some of these problems could be avoided by observing proper hygiene for cleaning and wearing lenses.
Wash your hands before putting and removing contact lenses. If you wear makeup, do not put on a pair before applying it. You should also clean the case with the lens solution every week and replace the solution after each use. Do not swim while wearing lenses and make sure you do not use these for more than 16 hours every day.
When choosing contact lenses, it may be better to stick with a pair that is suited for long-term wear. How often do you change contact lenses?