Plastic neutrality is increasingly talked about as an initiative that is making a significant environmental and social impact worldwide. But do you know what this model is really all about?
To mark World Oceans Day, two senior executives are offering thought-provoking environmental insights to deepen the eye care industry’s understanding of how plastic neutrality benefits practices, patients, and communities worldwide. The fireside chat with CooperCompanies Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at CooperCompanies Dan McBride and Plastic Bank Founder and CEO David Katz is now available to view here.
two senior executives are offering thought-provoking environmental insights to deepen the eye care industry’s understanding of how plastic neutrality benefits practices, patients, and communities worldwide
Acknowledging the vital role that plastics play in everyday life, the executives discuss why plastic neutrality is a model quickly capturing people’s attention. In 2021, CooperVision introduced the world’s first plastic neutral contact lenses1 by funding Plastic Bank’s collection, processing and reuse of general ocean-bound plastic waste that is equal to the weight of the plastic contained in designated products. It has grown to become the largest plastic neutrality initiative in the contact lens industry.1,2
In 2022, the equivalent of nearly 28 million plastic bottles have been prevented from polluting the oceans, and the equivalent of nearly 55 million plastic bottles has been collected since the program’s inception. Collectors and their families in 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.3
“CooperVision has significantly expanded sustainable practices within our facilities over the past several years, including recycling, reuse, water conservation, and energy conservation. As a medical device manufacturer, plastic plays a critical role in the hygienic delivery and sterile protection of our products around the world. The Plastic Bank partnership extends our commitment with an innovative plastics collection model, made even more meaningful through its social mission,” said Mr McBride. “It creates a circular ecosystem that reflects our vision of plastics being responsibly used, recovered, and reborn in perpetuity.”
Circularity – which is the continued, regenerative reuse of plastic – creates exponential value and change, according to Mr Katz. When a piece of material is collected, recycled, placed back into manufacturing, and reintroduced to a consumer in a new form, the ecosystem grows. It’s not a linear effect, but one that spirals outward for continual impact.
“Our partnership is really about every eye care professional and consumer who wants to help create positive change,” said Mr Katz. “CooperVision and Plastic Bank are making it easier to improve the environment, creating a platform in which others can participate. That’s how and where change begins.”
To learn more about plastic neutrality and how eye care professionals and patients can take part in the change simply by prescribing and wearing eligible CooperVision contact lenses, visit coopervision.net.au/plasticnetural
1. clariti 1 day is defined as orders and includes clariti 1 day sphere, clariti 1 day toric, and clariti 1 day multifocal product sold and distributed by CooperVision Globally. Plastic neutrality is established by purchasing credits from Plastic Bank. A credit represents the collection and conversion of one kilogram of plastic that may reach or be destined for waterways. CooperVision purchases credits equal to the weight of plastic in clariti 1 day orders in a specified time period. clariti 1 day plastic is determined by the weight of plastic in the blister, the lens, and the secondary package, including laminates, adhesives, and auxiliary inputs (e.g., ink). Based on top 4 global contact lens manufacturers. CVI data on file, 2022.
2. Plastic Bank uses 1kg of plastic to equal 50 bottles. Participating brand orders is defined as orders and includes sphere, 1 day toric, and multifocal product sold & distributed by CooperVision. CVI data on file, 2022 for a complete list of participating brands by country. Total bottles as derived through Plastic Bank’s impact dashboard through as of 12/31/2021.
3. 27,551,500 bottles prevented; 171 communities impacted; 1,421 people impacted. “CooperVision’s Impact,” verified January 10, 2022.