How can I reuse or recycle contact lenses?

We’ve had an email from Dean:

I have just had my eyes lasered and need a suggestion of where I can send unused trueye contact lenses? Also have some monthly disposables and two pairs of glasses?

Glasses – spectacles – are quite widely collected for recycling/reusing overseas — a lot of opticians have collection bins and some charity shops do too (Help the Ages, for example). Contact lens containers are also useful little things – eg, use them for carrying little amounts of salt, pepper or other seasonings on camping trips.

But what about the contact lenses themselves? Does anywhere collect them for redistribution overseas or anything?

Any suggestions?

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20 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle contact lenses?”


  1. shelly says:

    i once donated a contact lens to a vet to help heal an injured eye of a cocker spaniel.

  2. Kara says:

    My optician takes back any unused, unexpired lenses when my prescription changes. They usually give me a discount on my new lenses if the box is open, or a full refund if the box is unopened.

  3. Gulia says:

    I’d glue two lenses together, after placing an itsy-bitsy image or an object inside. Makes nice necklace. The earrings can be made by the same principle.

    Glue it onto a button to make it even prettier.

    Make a bowl or a sink for doll’s miniature house.

    Place a seed and a drop of water and watch it grow.

    Squeeze in into a small hall in a wall before plastering.

    Use for Halloween makeover. Glue to your face and cover with make up.

  4. I am sure anybody who finds a way to recycle contact lenses will make millions of dollars..

  5. Along the Way says:

    Probably good idea to use in a sculpture to build realistic eye curvature.

  6. Along the Way says:

    Probably good idea to use in a sculpture of a face to build realistic looking eye curvature.

  7. Along the Way says:

    One can make a vase for a call house, or a lamp, or just a kitchen bowl, fire pit? roof light for a miniature house?

  8. Along the Way says:

    Glue two lenses together with a tiny picture or an item in between. Hang on a chain and wear this cool necklace.

  9. Creativity says:

    Some scabs, cuts, little wounds are not flat and it’s hard to attach bandaid and really cover it. Apply neosporin, cover with an old eye lens and then attach bandaid.

  10. Fondue says:

    Create coolest wall: glue your eye lenses onto a wall in whatever image or pattern. After that paint the wall. :)

  11. Adeline says:

    Glue few dozen of lenses to the bottom of a rug, it will not slip.

  12. Travis says:

    If you keep jumping your toes on a furniture, glue eye lenses to the edge of your socks against the toes to soften the blow.

  13. Uluska says:

    Some sewing thimbles feel too hard on a finger or are too big. Slide the eye lens inside the thimble to fix the problem.

  14. Veronika says:

    Some buttons on household machinery or key boards are too hard. Glue the contact lenses on those buttons for significantly softer push.

  15. Uluska says:

    Don’t want to leave oil from your hands or fingerprints anywhere? Glue contact lenses to the tips of your fingers.

  16. Alena says:

    Glue contact lenses to a window, mirror or any other glass object for the embossed effect.
    Turn regular bottle into white milk bottle by gluing contact lenses all over and then spray painting it.

  17. Zinnia says:

    Want massaging flip flops? Glue contact lenses all over the inner part of flip flops. :)

  18. Maria says:

    Replace lost lining in a bottle, say, perfume bottle, with contact lens. Cut it to the needed size, if you have to.
    Also, contact lenses can be attached to furniture legs to prevent scratching of the floor. Try to do this with coasters too. I used them to stop microwave from moving when I open it’s door.



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