15/01/2019 15:33 GMT

You Can Now Recycle Your Used Contact Lenses For The First Time

They're too tiny to go in your home recycling bin.

Most of us chuck them in the bin or flush them down the loo, but did you know your used contact lenses could one day be fashioned into a park bench?

For the first time in the UK, lenses – as well as the blister packs and plastic packaging – could be given a new life under a new recycling scheme launched by Johnson & Johnson, TerraCycle and Boots.

Contact lenses can’t be processed by most recycling plants because they’re too tiny, but under this new scheme consumers can drop them into Boots Opticians, as well as participating independent stores. 

[Read More: Showering with your contact lenses in could lead to this infection]

kuppa_rock via Getty Images

There are 3.7 million contact lens wearers in the UK, Johnson & Johnson said, and a fifth of those people chuck the lenses down the sink or in the loo.

“77% of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could, and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment,” said Sandra Rasche from Johnson & Johnson.  

Consumers will have the option of either dropping off the contact lens material or having it collected – find details of your nearest public drop-off location points online here.