Optical Express has signed up to the United Nations’ (UN) Clean Seas campaign, which is designed to tackle the amount of single-use plastic products polluting the ocean.

The multiple explained that by participating in the scheme, hundreds of its optometrists and practice staff are now committed to stop using these products.

Heather Suttie, corporate social responsibility manager at Optical Express, said: ‘I’m incredibly proud of all the Optical Express staff members who are joining the fight against single-use plastic by cutting out unnecessary plastic products.’

Contact lenses and other personal care items, such as wet wipes and cotton buds, are highlighted by UN’s Clean Seas campaign as common causes of plastic pollution.

Researched commissioned by Optical Express found that over 750m plastic lenses end up in oceans or landfill in the UK every year.

Recycling stations for contact lenses have now been made available in all Optical Express practices and its staff will now inform patients about the potential environment impact of disposing of the product properly.

‘Many of the single-use plastic products that are so damaging to our environment can be found in our bathrooms, so it’s vital that initiatives like the UN Environment Programme are focusing on this form of plastic pollution. The damage caused by personal care products such as contact lenses has been underestimated in the past, but as our research has shown, it’s a significant source of plastic waste which we all need to do more to cut down on’, Suttie added.