Johnson & Johnson Vision launches the UK’s first free nationwide recycling programme for all contact lenses

Images showing all the types of contact lens waste accepted in the programme.

Now rolling out in Boots Opticians and select independent practices, the programme gives 3.7 million UK contact lens wearers the opportunity to convert waste into new products

United Kingdom (January 15th, 2019) – Over two-thirds (70%)[1] of consumers are confused about the types of household items they can recycle, according to recent research by Johnson & Johnson Vision. And this is no different for contact lenses, where over a third (39%) of contact lenses wearers aren’t sure or believe they can recycle lenses. In reality, whilst not impossible, recycling contact lenses is challenging, where consumers must proactively seek out a paid-for recycling partner — that is until today.

Johnson & Johnson Vision[2] is launching the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme, the UK’s first free nationwide programme which enables consumers to easily recycle their contact lenses and the blister and foil packaging after use. The programme is available to all soft contact lens wearers regardless of which contact lens brand they use.

The programme aims to reduce plastic waste in landfills and waterways by providing a simple and practical alternative to the UK’s 3.7 million contact wearers, including the 20%[3] of wearers who reported that they currently dispose of their lenses by flushing them down the toilet or the sink. The end result will see the recycled contact lenses, blister and foil packaging turned into new products such as outdoor furniture and plastic lumber. 

“Seventy-seven percent[4] 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, Area Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH. “As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change, protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new UK recycling programme represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.”

Consumers will have the option of either having their contact lens material collected, or simply dropping it off through a network of recycling bins at public drop-off locations at optical stores across the UK, including high street retailer Boots Opticians Ltd[5]. The recycling partnership with Boots Opticians and a number of independent stores, aims over time to provide over 1,000 public drop-off recycling locations for contact lens waste across the UK.

Johnson & Johnson Vision is collaborating with TerraCycle, a world leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste to run the programme. Open for all in the UK, contact lens wearers are encouraged to check the ACUVUE and TerraCycle websites for details on their nearest public drop-off location points or to recycle from home via courier collection.



Research was conducted by One Poll with one thousand contact lens wearers in the UK in November 2018.

About Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies

As the world’s most comprehensive medical devices business, we are building on a century of experience, merging science and technology, to shape the future of health and benefit even more people around the world. With our unparalleled breadth, depth and reach across surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, we’re working to profoundly change the way care is delivered. We are in this for life.

Johnson & Johnson Vision

At Johnson & Johnson Vision, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies*, we have a bold ambition: to change the trajectory of eye health around the world. Through our operating companies, we deliver innovation that enables eye care professionals to create better outcomes for patients throughout their lives, with products and technologies that address unmet needs including refractive error, cataracts and dry eye. In communities with greatest need, we work in collaboration to expand access to quality eye care, and we are committed to helping people see better, connect better and live better. Visit us at Follow @JNJVision on Twitter and Johnson & Johnson Vision on LinkedIn.

Important information for contact lens wearers

ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses are available by prescription only for vision correction. An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye care professional. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, remove the lens and contact your eye care professional immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional, call 0800 0224 222, or download the Patient Instruction Guide.

† ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses have UV Blocking to help provide protection against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye.

‡WARNING: UV absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear such as UV absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV absorbing eyewear as directed by your eye care professional.

* The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopedics, and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.

ACUVUE is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.

Third-party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

© Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. 2019, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., any of the other Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson.  Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: uncertainty of regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; challenges to patents; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; manufacturing difficulties and delays; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in the company’s most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

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For further information, contact:

Sally Hetherington

+ 44 1344 324635 (office)

George Ross

+44-(0)20 3451 9131



[1] Johnson & Johnson funded One Poll research with 1,000 contact lens wearers in the UK in November 2018.

[2] Johnson & Johnson Vision represents the products and services of Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies and certain of their affiliates.

[3] Johnson & Johnson funded One Poll research with 1,000 contact lens wearers in the UK in November 2018.

[4] Johnson & Johnson funded One Poll research with 1,000 contact lens wearers in the UK in November 2018.

[5] Boots UK (, the UK’s largest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. With 2,485* stores in the UK, its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good.