Wine bottle corks and eyedrop dispensers are two products that don’t usually get recycled, so on National Recycling Day, let’s pay tribute to two new programs -- from Wine.com and Bausch + Lomb respectively-- working to rectify that.
D2C retailer Wine.com has teamed up with 100% Cork, an industry educational initiative, and recycling specialist ReCork, to help consumers recycle used wine corks.
The retailer will provide envelopes, made from durable recycled paper, for shipping and recycling of natural cork closures. Each envelope holds up to 55 corks and includes a QR code that users can scan to create shipping labels for dropping off at USPS locations. The codes also provide discounts on select wines that use natural cork closures, as well as offers on products made from recycled corks, including yoga blocks, performance footbeds, and footwear.
A curated list of cork-sealed wines from sustainable wine producers partnering with 100% Cork has been published at wine.com/choosecork.
Natural cork closures, the partners said, “have a negative carbon footprint when used to seal wines bottled in glass containers, according to recent studies conducted by three of the world’s largest auditing companies.”
Bausch + Lamb, meanwhile, has teamed up with recycling specialist TerraCycle on a program allowing consumers to recycle not only its BioTrue products, but any other single-dose units, lens cases and lens solution caps. In addition to BioTrue’s single-dose plastics, the program will also recycle that brand’s new Hydration Boost Lubricant Eye Drops multidose bottles.
Although they’re made of plastic, single-dose eyedrop dispensers don’t normally get recycled. Due both to their size and their materials, recycling facilities divert them to landfills, according to The Association of Plastic Recyclers.
The BioTrue Eye Care Recycling program is an extension of Bausch + Lomb’s One By One contact lens recycling, launched with TerraCycle five years ago,
To participate in the new program, consumers register on a TerraCycle Biotrue® Eye Care Recycling page. They then collect their materials and mail them to TerraCycle using a prepaid shipping label. When the waste arrives at TerraCycle, it is cleaned and melted into hard plastic pellets that are used to make new recycled products.
Bausch + Lomb said its ONE by One program, which collects used contact lenses, top foil and opened plastic blister packs from any brand, has recycled nearly 40 million units or 195,000 pounds of contact lenses and packaging materials since 2016.
In 2019, the company combined the recycled waste with other recycled material to create custom training modules -- including benches, tables, waste stations and an agility ramp -- for donation to the Guide Dog Foundation.