A PIONEERING Northampton optometrists has become one of the first in the country to offer a complete recycling service for contact lens users as part of a 'global war' on single-use plastics.
Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists, based in Kingsley Road, Northampton, is urging all contact lens users to take advantage of the scheme, which will see blister packs, packaging and even some contact lenses themselves sent away to be recycled.
A recycling station has been installed in the reception area and members of the public can drop off their old packaging to avoid the rubbish ending up in landfill.
Practice owner Brian Tompkins said: "Plastic is the scourge of the planet right now, polluting our oceans and having a huge detrimental impact on the environment. Introducing a contact lens recycling service is a small but vital step in the global war against single-use plastics. It's a game-changer.
"It is open to anyone, not just our patients. We are urging all contact lens users in and around Northampton to drop off their lenses and packaging and we will do the rest to ensure they don't simply get thrown away.
"By recycling these materials we can help give them a new lease of life rather than adding to the mountain of single-use plastic clogging up our planet."
A recent study revealed that 19 per cent of contact lens users regularly flush their lenses down the loo - adding to plastic pollution in oceans and rivers. A US-based research team found the lenses can get eaten by fish and other marine life and could eventually be then served up in food as a result.
A total of 4.2million people in the UK wear contact lenses and recycling both the lenses and their associated materials would have a significant impact on pollution levels.
For more information on the TK&S recycling scheme, call 01604 714413 or visit www.tks-optometrists.co.uk