“There is no planet B.” This powerful eco-warrior slogan reminds us to take responsibility for our own environmental impact, right down to the products we purchase and the practices of the companies that make them.
If you need vision care, you’ve likely wondered which is the greener option — glasses or contacts? There is a lot to know about the amount of energy and water used, and waste produced, in the lifecycle of each product.
Let’s take a look!
Environmental impact of manufacturing
When it comes to the production of either contacts or glasses, there are multiple factors to consider in weighing the environmental impact.
Those include the carbon footprint from facilities involved in manufacturing, packaging, or distribution, and the amounts of water and energy used. Don’t forget those same factors for each component of the product: glasses lenses, frames, cases, and cloths; contact lens blister packs, solution bottles, and storage cases.
Our factory also uses renewable biomass energy for heat and power. We’re actually using the repurposed waste of other industries to fuel our production! Even the molds used to make each Aveo contact lens get reused — we send them to recycling plants to be made into new products.
With no cases, cloths, or solution bottles being produced for our daily contacts, you can rest easier knowing you’re contributing significantly less to global waste.
Environmental impact of product waste
When you’re thinking about the overall environmental impact of any vision care product, the factors include the product you use, necessities like lens cloths or storage cases, and the standards of the facilities that manufacture and ship the product.
Get ready for some serious vision care waste stats!
- The waste from a whole year’s worth of daily contacts is the same as that of just 2.3 credit cards (around 11 grams).
- One pair of glasses produces around 35 grams of plastic waste. Glasses are usually worn for around 1–2 years before they are replaced.
- The waste from one bottle of contact lens cleaning solution is more than that of 2.5 years of daily lenses. Most people go through 4–8 bottles per year — so a year’s supply of those bottles alone can create as much plastic waste as 10–20 years of daily lenses!
- One contact lens storage case for reusable lenses has the same plastic equivalent of anywhere from 4–8 years of daily lenses, depending on the type of case. And of course, you should be changing your case every 1–3 months — yikes.
With our in-house manufacturing process, we can uphold strict environmental standards. Aveo is proud to minimize our environmental impact with our own LEED Gold–certified distribution center.
At the end of the day, contact lens waste (including extras like solution and cases) accounts for less than 0.5% of the average person’s personal waste. But it’s still important to do your research into the sustainability practices of any vision care brand you choose.
Make sure to never flush your contacts down the sink or toilet, so they don’t become part of the rising microplastic crisis in our oceans. And always recycle the packaging!