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Costa Expands Lens Recyling Program to Optical Labs

They can send waste to 13 Piedmont Plastics locations.

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(PRESS RELEASE) DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Following the launch of the Kick Plastic Lens Recycling Program for ECPs in March, Costa announces in time for Vision Expo West 2019 that optical labs are now able to send both their plastic lens waste as well as any dry plastic finishing “swarf” (plastic lens waste) to 13 Piedmont Plastics locations for recycling and repurposing.

The Kick Plasitc Lens Recycling Program has facilitated the recycling of over 700 pounds of discarded plastic lenses at two Piedmont Plastics locations. This is in addition to over 22 tons (approximately 44,000 pounds) of plastic recycling processed from Costa’s Daytona Beach lab.

Protecting the oceans it calls home is one of Costa’s main brand values, and it inspired the company’s larger Kick Plastic initiative to raise awareness for how waste from single-use plastic pollutes them. Plastic takes over 400 years to decompose , and an estimated 420 million plastic lenses (including new purchases and redos ) are disposed by the optical industry every two years.

The program launched earlier this year encourages optical practices to collect and recycle discarded plastic lenses (including clear demo, tinted, photochromic, sunwear, mirror, AR-coated, broken/scratched, prescription, CR-39, high index, polycarbonate, and Trivex/Hivex).

“The early response to our Kick Plastic Lens Recycling Program has confirmed our belief that there is a strong will to do right for the planet from eyecare professionals, given the right tools,” said T.J. McMeniman, vice president of marketing, Costa. “We strive to identify ways to protect what we love and share this learning with our partners. Expanding the program to the hundreds of labs across the US is a way for us to scale our efforts as an industry and create more impact.”

“As the recent recipient of the IAPD Silver-Level Environmental Excellence Award, which celebrates environmentally responsible practices, we are very proud to partner with Costa on the Kick Plastic Lens Recycling program. Costa is a steward of the environment and the Kick Plastic lens recycling program is an excellent example of how our companies work together to impact such an important initiative,” said Marty Sparks, spokesperson for Piedmont Plastics.

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Labs can now send all discarded plastic optical lens waste and dry plastic finishing swarf directly to select Piedmont Plastics locations, where it will be recycled and repurposed into safety glasses, motorcycle helmet shields and scuba masks.

To better accommodate a national roll out of the program, Costa and Piedmont Plastics have expanded the number of locations able to accept plastic optical lens waste from two to 13:

• Atlanta 2410 Tech Center Parkway, Suite 150, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
• Birmingham 171 Business Center Drive, Birmingham, AL 35244
• California 17000 Valley View Ave, La Mirada, CA 90638
• Charlotte 5010 W WT Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28269
• Columbus 460-A Schrock Road, Columbus, OH 43229
• Daytona 2175 Mason Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32117
• Houston 13279 N. Promenade Blvd, Stafford, TX 77477
• Las Vegas 5180 Cameron St. Suite 1, Las Vegas, NV 89118
• Mass. 360 Cedar Hill Street, Suite 100, Marlborough, MA 01752
• Memphis 4105 Hickory Hill Road Ste., 105 Memphis, TN 38115
• Phoenix 5720 South 40th Street Ste 3, Phoenix, AZ 85040
• Pompano Beach 3147 N. Andrews Ave. Extension, Pompano Beach, FL 33064
• Tampa Bay 8615 126th Avenue North Suite 600, Largo, FL 33773

ECP’s who want to get involved and who are Costa dealers can also become Costa Kick Plastic Ambassadors – in return for their support, they receive a special designation on the Costa dealer locator website, as well as Kick Plastic water bottles for their staff and communication materials to encourage patients to join the movement and #kickplastic.

Labs and ECPs interested in participating in the lens recycling program (both Costa dealers and non-Costa dealers) can contact Costa at lensrecycle@costadelmar.com for more information.

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CooperVision Appoints Jane Agbontaen as Senior Brand Marketing Director for Myopia Management in North America

Agbontaen has more than 20 years of professional experience in the healthcare space.

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Jane Agbontaen

(PRESS RELEASE) SAN RAMON, CA — CooperVision has named Jane Agbontaen as senior brand director for Myopia Management – Americas. In this newly created role, Agbontaen will be responsible for the strategic planning and execution of all activities that support the U.S. growth of CooperVision’s myopia management portfolio – specifically the Brilliant Futures™ Myopia Management Program with MiSight 1 day, the first and only FDA-approved product1 clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia when initially prescribed for children 8-12 years old in the United States.

Agbontaen’s role includes cross-functional and cross-business support to ensure CooperVision’s MiSight 1 day commercialization strategy is successful. Growing the portfolio includes touchpoints with eyecare practitioners and patients, as well as healthcare and legislative ecosystems that govern children’s health and wellness.

“With the FDA approval of MiSight and the impending roll out of our Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program, we require an evolution of our sales and marketing approach as we take on the rising epidemic of childhood myopia. Going forward, broadening our scope of healthcare provider alliances and industry partnerships are essential elements of shaping the standard of care in myopia management,” said Simon Seshadri, vice president of marketing at CooperVision, North America. “Jane’s previous experiences and skills are a perfect fit for this role and to help us achieve our desired outcomes. I’m delighted to have her onboard.”

Agbontaen has more than 20 years of professional experience in the healthcare space and with large medical device players such as Hologic, Abbot Medical Optics and Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes. While at Abbot Medical Optics, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care during her tenure, Agbontaen managed a broad brand portfolio in the cataracts segment, including intraocular lenses and instruments. Agbontaen received her bachelor’s degree from Long Island University and her MBA from the Stern School at New York University.

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OGI Eyewear Names Chief Creative Officer

He will not only lead creative development but will also serve as partner.

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(PRESS RELEASE) OGI Eyewear, a member of The Optical Foundry, announces the appointment of David Duralde as chief creative officer. Duralde has joined the company not only to lead creative development but also as a partner.

Duralde’s distinguished optical career is marked by extensive experience both with licensed and independent brands, including his most recent role as Chief Creative Officer at Kenmark Eyewear. “I am very excited about the opportunity to redefine and reinvigorate the niche independent brands in the OGI portfolio of products and provide a consistent, compelling story to the brands. I can’t wait to get started with the OGI
Eyewear product and marketing teams to connect deeply with our loyal customers, create frames that light up many more faces and help independent practices thrive and shine in this vigorously changing market.” said Duralde.

Robert Rich, CEO of OGI, notes, “David is exactly the right person to lead us in the revitalization of our brand portfolio. Despite a solid market position, OGI and its family of brands will benefit from an injection of fresh ideas and design innovations that will expand our leading role in the realm of affordable luxury frames.”

Rich adds, “This is a homecoming of sorts for David, having begun his formative optical design training at l.a.Eyeworks, another member of the Optical Foundry.”

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First US Patient Gets Wireless Retinal Device Implant

It’s aimed at restoring partial sight to patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PITTSBURGH – UPMC has implanted the first patient in the U.S. with a new wireless retinal device as part of a clinical trial aimed at restoring partial sight to patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

“Vision research has advanced dramatically in the recent past and UPMC is at the forefront of this revolution. This is the first of many such breakthroughs led by UPMC and Pitt that will benefit patients with vision loss in our community and around the world,” said José-Alain Sahel, MD, director of the UPMC Eye Center, Eye and Ear Foundation chair of ophthalmology and distinguished professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who initiated the trial at UPMC. “We are proud to be the first center in the United States to test this next generation retinal implant that could help treat an incurable disease like AMD.”

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The system, called PRIMA, is designed to restore sight in patients blinded by retinal degeneration. It consists of a 2 millimeter-by-2 millimeter, 30-micron thick miniaturized wireless photovoltaic chip placed under the damaged retina. It works in tandem with augmented reality glasses that have a built-in miniaturized camera and infrared projector.

The chip acts like a tiny artificial retina, made up of 378 tiny electrodes that convert infrared light from the glasses to electrical signals that are carried by the optic nerve to the brain. After receiving the implant, patients undergo an intensive rehabilitation program that trains their brains to understand and interpret the signals from the implant in combination with their remaining natural vision. Compared to earlier-generation implants, PRIMA is wireless and has significantly more electrodes, which allows for the transmission of more visual information.

“This is an incredibly exciting first for us at UPMC and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Joseph Martel, MD, the implanting surgeon at the UPMC Eye Center and the Pitt School of Medicine, and the principal investigator of the trial at UPMC. “I’m grateful to our patients who have volunteered to participate in this trial, without whom this would not be possible.”

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people older than 50. Today, it affects approximately 14 million people in the United States, and the prevalence is expected to rise as the baby boomers age. As AMD progresses, the center of vision becomes increasingly blurry. “Atrophic” AMD, which accounts for a large proportion of advanced cases, has no curative treatment available.

The UPMC feasibility trial is running in parallel with the first-in-human trial in France, which involves five patients with advanced AMD, who now have been followed for more than a year. The 12-month results from the French study demonstrated the ability of most patients to identify sequences of letters and there were no device-related serious adverse effects.

“We are working with a great sense of urgency because the aging population of the United States, especially the western Pennsylvania region we live in, will see a significant rise in the number of patients at risk for vision loss through diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and vascular eye disease, as well as earlier onset genetic conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa,” said Sahel. “This is why our physicians and researchers at UPMC and Pitt, in collaboration with our U.S. and international colleagues — especially at the Paris Vision Institute at Sorbonne University — are taking a multi-pronged effort to treat and rehabilitate patients with vision impairments.”

In March 2019, UPMC broke ground on the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower at UPMC Mercy, which when completed, will provide advanced specialty clinical care and innovative programs for visually impaired patients. It also will be the home for the vision research program at Pitt and UPMC.

The PRIMA implant was invented by Daniel Palanker, professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University, and licensed and developed by Pixium Vision, a spin-off from the Paris Vision Institute. Sahel is a co-founder of Pixium and holds shares in the company.

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