How to Recycle Contact Lenses

Written by zoe van-de-velde
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How to Recycle Contact Lenses
Recycling unused contact lenses is easy. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you have spare contact lenses that are unused because your prescription has changed or you have stopped wearing them, it does seem sensible to recycle them. There are many people in the world who cannot afford glasses or contact lenses, so by recycling them you could be helping someone to see properly. There are many schemes for recycling used eyeglasses. Recycling of contact lenses is a fairly new concept, but it is easy to do.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Unused contact lenses
  • Protective envelope

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  1. 1

    Package your unused lenses, ensuring that they are securely sealed. Only unused contact lenses can be accepted for donation.

    How to Recycle Contact Lenses
    Make sure your lenses are securely sealed. (contact lens case image by Sandra Henderson from
  2. 2

    Use a bubble envelope or other padded envelope to ensure that the lenses won't be damaged in transit.

  3. 3

    Write the following address clearly on the envelope:

    Lens Lady Eyeglass Donation

    c/o Lions Club

    300 West 22nd Street

    Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842

    Some other groups that accept contact lenses:

    New Eyes for the Needy

    549 Millburn Ave.

    Short Hills, N.J. 07078

    Phone: 973-376-4903

    MADRE Helping Hands Campaign

    121 West 27th St., Suite 301

    New York, NY10001

    Phone: 212-627-0444

  4. 4

    Send your package. You have successfully recycled your lenses.

Tips and warnings

  • Check whether there are any facilities in your area that recycle contact lenses. Ask local opticians for information.
  • Never send used contact lenses for recycling. They could carry diseases and infections.
  • Plastic containers for contact lenses can't be recycled with other plastics. Ask your optician whether she recycles these.

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