Two of a Kind: Do you care where your contact lens packaging goes?

Two of a Kind: Do you care where your contact lens packaging goes?

Ever wondered what happens to those your contact lens plastic packaging (contact lens blisters) whenever you rip out a new one to give your eyes a nice new boost of vision? 

Well, sadly those plastic packaging gets thrown away into the bins, ending up in our super packed landfills, never to see the literal light again! 

And if you're someone like me, who needs fresh change of lens every two weeks, just imagine the amount of plastic wastage we would have created just in our quest to avoid looking like a four-eyed bespectacled cutie. 

TLDR Version: Scroll all the way to the end of post to find out how you can recycle your contact lens packaging (yes, plastic packaging from all contact lens brands accepted)

Image supplied by Two of a Kind

The contact lens industry in Singapore is dominated by large multinational brands and optical chain stores. These big brands may likely have the means and resources to make a difference in minimising wastage - but do we see many of such initiatives? 

Hence, imagine my pleasant surprise when I came across the recycling initiative from Two of a Kind, Singapore's first and only homegrown direct-to-consumer contact lens brand. By going direct-to-consumer, Two of a Kind procures the highest quality product, and also removes unnecessary middleman markups – keeping prices sensible for folks like you and I.

With claims to be the first to introduce contact lens recycling here in Singapore, they are making awesome ripples of sustainable change in their own way. The brand, Two of a Kind, was born in 2016 out of a desire to provide highest quality product at affordable prices and to disrupt an otherwise stagnant industry. After two years of intense R&D and interviewing experts, Two of a Kind ended up partnering with companies that care as much as they do, to bring quality contact lens to their customers. 

On top of that, their #Project2x2 sustainability initiative, is something to write home about. 

Not only do their work on recycling their own contact lens blisters, they have also introduced more optical brands into the #Project2x2 initiative, amongst other like-minded businesses working towards their small sustainability goal. 

Seriously, why do we need to care where our plastic waste goes to?

Singapore’s plastic recycling is only 4%. And there are reasons why that number is low. 

1. Co-mingling of waste streams:

Recycling requires sorting of mixed waste into specific material streams - *particularly* for plastics. Not all plastics are recyclable in Singapore.

2. High sorting costs:

Logistically and technically challenging to separate small footprint consumer plastics from central waste. Small consumer waste gets filtered out to save time and money

3. Economic misincentives:

Recycling requires clean and homogenous material streams. Economics of incineration > recycling yield

Image supplied by Two of a Kind

How it began

In the process of doing Two of a Kind, the brand recognised that there was a lot of plastic waste being generated by contact lens use. They set out to speak with many recycling and sustainability partners and realized that small plastics such as contact lens blisters, are filtered out through the normal recycling system and get sent for incineration. 

Hence in year 2019, the brand launched Singapore's first contact lens blister recycling initiative, Project 2x2, where they facilitate recycling single use contact lens packaging plastic responsibly and transparently. 

This means that what consumers usually dispose of after single-use is processed back into feedstock material that finds its way back into new and repurposed applications and products. The purpose is to help contribute to a more circular, less wasteful, and less pollutive plastics system.

I honestly love that this initiative is not limited to Two of a Kind products, as they accept plastic packaging from all various contact lens brands

Because recycling plastic is an important initiative that impacts all - and doesn't differentiate by brands! It's that simple, and I admire the brand's desire to want to do what they can, to protect the environment. 

Image supplied by Two of a Kind

Here's how to do your part

Step 1. Sign up on their website (www.twooak.com/2x2) to receive their envelopes, collect your used blisters (you know they are always lying around) and insert them into the envelopes.

Step 2. Next, mail your recycling envelopes to them. Or if you don’t mind the trip, you can also drop them off at a #project2x2 advocate location near you.

Step 3. The plastic blisters are sorted, processed into a pellet form, and re-used for new product applications. 

Ta-dah! More details of this can be viewed on www.twooak.com/2x2locate 

For more about Two of a Kind, visit their website here and their Instagram here

xoxo, Janel

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