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Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle Announce Donation of Custom Training Modules Using Recycled Contact Lens Materials to Guide Dog Foundation

Benches, tables, waste stations and an agility ramp will help train guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health company, in collaboration with TerraCycle, a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, announces the donation of custom training modules to the Guide Dog Foundation, a national not-for-profit that trains guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired. The training modules, including benches, tables, waste stations and an agility ramp, were made from used contact lens materials collected through the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program, the first and only contact lens recycling program of its kind in the United States, along with other recycled material.

The training modules will be presented to the Guide Dog Foundation at its headquarters in Smithtown, N.Y., and will be utilized in the training of guide dogs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired as well as helping to further enhance the campus for those who visit.

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“The ONE by ONE Recycling program and our collaboration with TerraCycle is representative of our company’s long-standing commitment to sustainability. With this donation, we’re taking this program one step further, bringing new life to these materials by supporting the work of the Guide Dog Foundation, an organization that provides sight through the magnificent work of guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired,” said John Ferris, general manager, U.S. Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb.

“We are grateful for the efforts of Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle in reducing the environmental waste of contact lenses while also making this critical donation to help improve the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired,” said John Miller, CEO, Guide Dog Foundation. “These training modules will be a wonderful addition to our training facility where our instructors train guide dogs the significant skills and tasks they need to increase the independence and mobility for people living with these conditions.”

Since its inception in Nov. 2016, the ONE by ONE Recycling program has collected nearly 16 million used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils, which equates to more than 95,000 pounds of waste, making a significant impact on reducing the waste associated with contact lens use, especially daily disposable lenses. The donation to the Guide Dog Foundation is in recognition of this milestone and in commemoration of America Recycles Day (Friday, Nov. 15, 2019), the program’s third anniversary.

“We are delighted to celebrate America Recycles Day and the third anniversary of the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling program through the donation of these materials to the Guide Dog Foundation,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO, TerraCycle. “Before the ONE by ONE Recycling program, contact lenses were one of the forgotten waste streams that were often overlooked due to their size. In the three years since the implementation of the program, we’ve seen positive momentum from contact lens wearers who continue to use this program. Together we are helping to preserve our environment and transitioning these materials back into the world in a positive way – it’s a win-win for all.”

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The ONE by ONE Recycling program encourages contact lens wearers to bring their used contact lenses and packaging to any one of the more than 4,200 participating eye care professionals’ offices to recycle them in custom recycling bins provided by Bausch + Lomb. Once the recycling bins are full, the optometry practice mails the materials to TerraCycle using a free shipping label from www.bauschrecycles.com. The materials are then received by TerraCycle, where the metal layers of the blister packs are recycled separately, while the contact lenses and plastic blister pack components are melted into plastic. These materials can then be remolded into new recycled products, such as the training modules donated to the Guide Dog Foundation.

In addition to the training module donation made to the Guide Dog Foundation, the ONE by ONE Recycling Program donates $10 to Optometry Giving Sight, the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision by providing eye exams and glasses to those in need, for every 10 pounds of contact lens waste collected from participating ONE by ONE recycling centers.

The donation to the Guide Dog Foundation was funded through the Bausch Foundation (www.bauschfoundation.org), which was established in 2017 to improve the lives of patients globally by providing access to safe, effective medicines and by financially supporting health care education and causes around the world.

For more information on the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling program, visit www.bauschrecycles.com

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