Review Article

Spectacle lens and contact lens recycling in South Africa

Rayishnee Pillay, Rekha Hansraj, Nishanee Rampersad
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a777 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.777 | © 2023 Rayishnee Pillay, Rekha Hansraj, Nishanee Rampersad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 May 2022 | Published: 21 June 2023

About the author(s)

Rayishnee Pillay, Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Rekha Hansraj, Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nishanee Rampersad, Discipline of Optometry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The increase in global plastic waste generation poses a threat to human, animal and plant life. As such, industries world-wide are encouraged to review waste management systems to prevent, minimise, recycle or recover plastic waste. There is a paucity of information on plastic waste generation by the local optical industry in South Africa, especially with respect to spectacle lens and contact lens recycling.

Aim: The purpose of this review article was to provide a current outlook on spectacle lens and contact lens recycling in South Africa.

Methods: Literature review of scientific papers from online databases, websites and lens material patents.

Results: No studies regarding lens recycling in South Africa were found. However, data for this review were collated based on lens constituent materials.

Conclusion: This review article provided an overview of lens recycling, identified the barriers and potential measures to advance plastic spectacle lens and contact lens recycling in South Africa, and suggested controlled energy recovery as an alternative pending implementation of lens recycling programmes.

Contribution: This paper contributes useful information on a previously unexplored aspect of recycling in South Africa. Ophthalmic lens recycling is currently not available in South Africa, and as such, this review focuses on the current outlook, barriers and considerations for implementation of such programmes.

 


Keywords

spectacle lenses; contact lenses; recycling; waste management; plastic waste

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