CooperVision Plastic Neutral Contact Lens Programme Posts Industry-Leading First-Year Results
Equivalent of nearly 28 million plastic bottles diverted from oceans and 171 communities supported
One year after CooperVision established the first plastic neutral contact lens though a trailblazing partnership with Plastic Bank, the programme has made a significant environmental and social impact worldwide:
- The equivalent of nearly 28 million plastic bottles have been prevented from polluting the oceans.
- 171 coastal communities have directly benefited from exchanging ocean-bound plastic for necessities such as clean water, groceries, cooking oil, school tuition, and even health insurance.[i]
CooperVision’s partnership with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise that builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities and reprocesses the materials for reintroduction into the global supply chain, is the largest plastic neutrality initiative in the contact lens industry. Currently, 18 CooperVision subsidiaries in Europe and North America are participating with nine more in Asia, South America, and Europe slated to join this year. With this expanded scale, the programme is expected to prevent the equivalent of nearly 90 million plastic bottles from reaching oceans in 2022 – more than three times the amount collected in 2021.
Thye Plastic Bank empowers the regenerative society. The social enterprise helps the world stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of collector communities. Plastic Bank builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities and reprocesses the materials for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance.
CooperVision’s plastic neutrality initiative, while unprecedented, is one of many milestones in the organisation’s journey to ever-greater sustainability. The company envisions a world where plastics are responsibly used, recovered, and reborn in perpetuity – and is taking steps to get there.
“We are constantly striving to identify novel solutions that not only address key sustainability challenges but also create new opportunities,” said Dan McBride, Executive Vice President (EVP), Chief Operating Officer of CooperCompanies. “By re-examining our relationship with plastic, we can help protect the world’s oceans and transform waste into a resource.”
“There is no single approach that achieves sustainability, so we need to manage plastic use on many fronts,” McBride continued. “There is no finish line either, so we invite contact lens wearers and the rest of the eye care industry to join us.”