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Do Some Recycling: Creative Uses for Your Old Contact Lens Cases

Asian woman holding contact lens case

We can all agree that it’s time to start taking better care of our planet. It’s the only one we have, after all. Embracing sustainability, zero waste and green living might sound difficult to do. But it doesn’t have to be! Small changes can reduce your personal impact on the environment in many ways.

For example, take something as simple as your contact lens cases. Experts recommend that you change them every three months. Failure to replace lens cases on time has been linked to serious eye infections. The reason for this is your contact case can become contaminated with microscopic germs.

In turn, the bacteria can cause infections if they make their way into your eyes. Some germs can survive even the most rigorous cleaning regimen. Keep the same contact lens case for too long, and these germs will start causing trouble.

Replacing your case regularly is important for your health. We can’t reduce waste by keeping the same case forever. But there are many fun and creative ways you can use your old lens cases to stop them from ending up in the landfill. It's a small change, but every individual’s small change adds to the big picture!

Recycle Your Contact Lens Cases

cubes of plastic recycling

Our first suggestion is obvious but important. Plastic pollution is a global emergency. The good news is, the plastic in contact cases is recyclable and compatible with general plastic waste.

Recycling guidelines can differ depending on each county or state. But generally, municipal authorities take your cases away to a processing plant. Then, plastics are sorted, shredded and cleaned of impurities. These plastic shreds get melted down into pellets. Next, they go into new plastic products. This includes anything from bottles to containers to fabric!

Conversely, contact lenses themselves are challenging to recycle because of their size. Also, daily disposable contact lens packaging is difficult to recycle because it contains metal foil. To combat this, Bausch + Lomb created their ONE by ONE comprehensive recycling program. This means you can send over all used contact lens brands and they will recycle them.

Thinking Outside the Box

Recycling plastic does come with its own environmental cost, not to mention the labor involved. So it might be time to think outside the box! In fact, get rid of the box altogether!

Find ways to reuse your contact lens cases so they don’t end up in the trash or the recycling bin. Thinking up creative ways to reuse them also means you’ll buy fewer new plastic storage cases. Check it out!

Pill Container

Contact lens cases are perfect for storing pills. You can keep two different kinds in one container. For example, prescription pills in one side and ordinary painkillers in the other. Each case is big enough to store at least seven pills.

If it’s a daily or twice-daily dose, you can fill your case up for the week ahead and never lose track! Bear in mind that removing pills from their original bottles can lead to confusion if there are some that look the same. Contact lens cases are also not childproof. So keep them away from kids.

Travel Jewelry Case

necklaces and rings on lace

Taking a short trip and want to take your favorite small piece of jewelry with you? It can be hard to figure out where to store it. In with your cosmetics, it’s likely to get tangled or damaged. In your purse, it might very well get lost. Contact lens cases are perfect for keeping your jewelry safe, clean and dry for the duration of your trip.

Single-Use Condiment Holder

Who wants to eat french fries without ketchup, a ham sandwich without mustard, or a burrito without chilli sauce? No one! That’s why contact cases make the perfect single-use condiment holders. Fill yours with your favorite condiment and pop it in your purse. That way, your food will always taste the way you like it.

Single-Use Cosmetic Holder

This is a godsend for anyone who frequently spends the night away from home. You don't need to carry a bulky cosmetic bag around with you any longer. Fill the compartments of old contact lens cases with your can’t-live-without cosmetics and know you’ll always have a makeover on hand.

Foundation, lip gloss, concealer, eye cream, and gel-based blush and eyeshadow all work well. The lids on your contact cases screw on nice and tight so you know there won’t be any spillage.

Mouthwash Holder

Have you ever been on your way to a meeting or a date, and wished you had a bit of mouthwash to freshen your breath? But no one wants to carry a full bottle of mouthwash around with them. Contact lens cases are the perfect size for one shot of mouthwash. Fill it up and pop it in your purse for whenever you need it!

Craft Storage Solution

colorful beads of all sizes

Anyone who loves crafts knows that the key to a successful craft area is proper storage! Contact lens cases are great for keeping things like beads, threads, jewelry fixings and sequins organized. They’re particularly good if you're on the go. Just remember to write what’s inside on the lid.

Fake Eyelashes

Fake eyelashes are often reusable, but only if you keep them clean and safe. There are two compartments to a contact lens case and you have two eyes. It’s perfect! Store your falsies when not in use or pop them in your bag when you travel.

Headphone Storage Case

Our personal favorite! Earbud headphones can become irritatingly tangled in your pocket or handbag. They can get pretty dirty too, putting you at risk of introducing harmful bacteria into your ear.

Slice a gap into each side of the contact case for the headphone cord to slide through. Pop your headphones into the case and screw the lids shut. Then, wrap the cord around the case to stop it from getting tangled. If you’re lucky enough to have cordless headphones, it’s even easier. Place them in the case and be on your way!

Repurpose Your Old Contact Cases

bag of used contact lens cases

These are just a few of our favorite creative uses for old contact lens cases. There are many more. Whenever there is a need to store a small amount of something, a contact case could be the answer!

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