How Contact Lenses Harm the Environment (and What You Can Do About It)

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on April 20, 2024

Contact lenses are used daily by millions of people worldwide. However, their impact on the environment is often overlooked. With that many disposing of plastic lenses monthly, weekly, or daily, these small slivers of material can add up to big trouble for our planet.

Here’s a closer look at how contact lenses harm the environment and what you can do to mitigate their effects.

1. Plastic pollution

Contact lenses are primarily made of plastic, contributing to plastic pollution when disposed of improperly. Many users flush their lenses down the toilet or wash them down the sink, leading to microplastic pollution in water bodies.

2. Microplastic contamination

When contact lenses break down, they release microplastics into the environment. These tiny plastic particles can end up in soil and water sources, posing a threat to ecosystems. They can even be consumed by marine animals, putting at risk the health of the animals and the humans who fish and consume them.

3. Chemical pollution

Contact lens solutions contain chemicals that can leach into the environment. Some of these chemicals may be harmful to aquatic life and disrupt ecosystems if they enter waterways through sewage systems.

4. Reducing your environmental impact:

LASIK vision correction: a sustainable solution

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a safe and effective surgical procedure that corrects vision problems permanently. Here’s how LASIK can help reduce your environmental footprint:

While contact lenses offer vision correction benefits, they also pose environmental challenges due to plastic pollution and chemical waste. By adopting proper disposal methods or eliminating them entirely by getting LASIK vision correction, individuals can minimize their environmental impact and contribute to a healthier planet.

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit to learn more about our services.


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