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Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2003 Mar;26(1):43-6.

Environmental impact of three replacement modalities of soft contact lens wear.

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  • 1Eurolens Research, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience UMIST, Manchester M60 1QD, UK.



To illustrate the environmental impact of three contact lens replacement modalities, and to place this into a broader environmental context.


Environmental impact was calculated by sorting the packaging used in the supply of three representative contact lens systems into their constituent materials (liquid, plastic, paper, metal and glass), determining their mass, calculating the annualised consumption by a typical contact lens wearer, and factoring the data against published indices of the environmental impact of the constituent materials.


Conventional lens wear had the highest impact and planned replacement lens wear (monthly disposable) had the lowest impact.


The overall environmental impact of waste generated thorough the use of contact lens products by the end consumer is insignificant (0.5%) compared with the amount of waste generated in our everyday life.


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