Sustainability in eye care

Tue 04th April 2023

What’s happening now and what can we do next?

The optometry sector isn’t usually what comes to mind when we think about sustainability, but there are a few aspects of the industry where sustainable options can be looked at a little bit closer and action can be taken. In recent years there has been a shift in the views towards a more environmentally friendly approach to eye care and services with a lot of this being about moving to reduce the use of plastic in eyewear.

What has caused this pivot towards more sustainable eyewear? Climate change has been a huge factor in reducing plastic waste and usage. Many brands have opted to use plastic waste to make glasses while others are re-selling pre-owned glasses as a way to combat the manufacturing of plastic goods. With a variety of options available, there are initiatives now in place across the world to begin to make an impact. MITA, a Miami-based brand, upcycles 5 water bottles to create one pair of eco-glasses. To date, they’ve recycled 81,000 water bottles and all their eyewear, including cleaning cloths and cases, are made from recycled material. Another eyewear brand, UK-based Peep, help consumers to offset their carbon footprint by offering second hand glasses – they also plant a tree of every pair of glasses purchased!

As well as having an impact on eyewear, climate change is also influencing eye care services. It is predicted that climate change will increase types of infections, vitamin A deficiencies, cataracts, glaucoma, AMD, and even eye injuries now and in the future. The environmental impact of eye health services will continue to increase unless we make substantial changes to our current practices. The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness has recommended 10 key areas of action on how the eye care sector can address climate change. Find out more about these, here.

There’s lots to be done in building more sustainability in eye care but with brands beginning to take note, there has been a good start to future-proofing the sector. Environmental efforts are not a one size fits all but it’s vital that we all take not of what we can do to help combat what’s happening in the world around us.

IbisVision is proud to have a fully remote platform that can allow optometrists and patients alike to reduce their carbon footprint when necessary. Find out more about our tele-optometry solution, here.