Go Green With LASIK

by Lance Kugler, MD

How Saying Goodbye to Contacts Can Reduce Plastic Waste

The Plastic Dilemma

Forty-five million people in the United States are currently relying on contact lenses, and dealing with the potential hazards they bring. That amounts to 90 million individual, fingerprint-sized, fungus-coated, slippery plastic lenses in use at any given time – microplastics that are often disposed of incorrectly. In addition to the 90 million contact lenses being tossed, plastic solution bottles and plastic contact lens cases are among the multitudes of trash created each year as a result of the upkeep and care of these disposable lenses. In short, that’s a lot of plastic being thrown away every month.

Holding a contact lens

The Breakdown 

When contact lenses are thrown away, what happens to them? With 45 million people stuck in the cycle of purchasing and disposing of contacts, it’s no surprise that these slick plastic discs have a growing impact on the environment. Plastic is not biodegradable, nor is it safely consumable by either humans or animals, making it difficult to get rid of contacts for good. 

Contact lenses do not last forever – most are meant for single-day use or meant to be disposed of within a few days of wear. In a recent survey of 139 people by The American Chemical Society(both contact wearers and non-wearers), 19% report that they flush contact lenses down the toilet or sink. Flushed plastic lenses can fragment easily and contribute to the 269,000 tons of microplastic floating around the world’s bodies of water. The microplastic (fragmented plastic) can be mistaken as food by fish, and through the numerous cycles of the food chain, the microplastic can end up on your plate in your favorite seafood dish. 

Washed up plastic

Reducing Your Plastics Footprint

The never-ending contact lens routine can be eliminated completely by transforming your life with LASIK vision correction.

LASIK can help end the cycle of buying glasses and contacts. But what can you do with the ones you already have? Don’t worry, it’s still possible to reduce your contribution to the contact lenses and supplies that are collecting in the world’s water and landfills. Here are a few ways to reduce your impact when it comes to your supplies:

  • Recycle Your Contacts: TerraCycle and Bausch + Lomb have partnered to create a free recycling program for contact lenses and blister packs, as well as lenses and packs from other Bausch + Lomb brands. That’s a much better alternative to throwing away or flushing lenses down the toilet! 


  • Donate Your Glasses: We encourage all of our patients to donate their glasses to us after LASIK. Even if you are not a patient of ours, we will gladly take your old frames. We compile our donations annually and send them to the Lion’s Club of Omaha for those in need. 


  • Recycle Your Glasses: While we enjoy saying, “Say goodbye to glasses and get LASIK!” we don’t mean for that to be taken literally … you don’t need to throw them in the garbage. If your glasses are not in shape to be donated, put them aside to be recycled. Who knows, maybe they could be made into something. 

A Better Way. The LASIK Way

LASIK is beneficial for both you AND the planet. We hear from just about every LASIK patient, “I wish I’d have done it sooner!” There are many benefits of laser vision correction, but a few of them are listed below.

Girl smiling outside

The 6 Top Popular Benefits of LASIK:

  1. Freedom from glasses and contact lenses: After LASIK, patients regain the freedom of enjoying crisp, clear, natural vision without the extra step of putting in contact lenses or reaching for glasses. Every morning they simply wake up and see the alarm clock. They feel the thrill of being able to just get up and go at a moment’s notice.
  2. Enhanced Lifestyle: Our patients report that LASIK has helped them more fully enjoy sports, traveling, exercising, and all their favorite active hobbies. No more sweaty foggy glasses slipping down their noses. No more dry, scratchy contacts. Don’t even get us started on the many risks of swimming in contact lenses! Whatever they love to do, they generally find that they love it even more when they can see with amazing vision, free and clear.
  3. Life hack! The ultimate time saver: Save yourself time each morning and night by saying goodbye to the daily glasses-and-contacts routine. No more hassles. No more worries. No more stress. Every minute a contact lens wearer spends essentially poking himself in the eye every day adds up over the years! To see the insane math behind how much time LASIK saves over the glasses-and-contacts routine, check out our blog post on it here.
  4. Money Saver: The one-time investment in vision correction ends the constant cycle of spending on glasses and contact lenses. Getting LASIK as early as medically able can save the average contact lens and glasses wearer tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. LASIK generally “pays for itself” within five years. Don’t take our word for it though. To find out how much you personally could save with LASIK, check out the LASIK savings calculator. Don’t forget, at Kugler Vision we offer flexible payment plans and zero-interest financing.
  5. Safety first: Studies have confirmed that laser vision correction is much safer for your eyes than wearing contacts. LASIK is incredibly safe. Over 25 million people around the world have benefitted from this fast and nearly pain-free procedure – with a LASIK patient satisfaction rate of over 97%! Also, continued use of contact lenses over the years speeds the development of contact lens intolerance (CLI), a painful condition in which the body begins to reject the presence of a contact lens on the eye’s surface. The best and most permanent treatment for CLI is to remove the need for contact lenses with a laser vision correction procedure tailored to your eye’s specific needs. If you suspect you’re experiencing the pain and discomfort of CLI, take the CLI self-test now.
  6. Go green with LASIK: As we already detailed above, those little contact lenses are adding up to a big problem for the planet. Reduce your plastic footprint by eliminating the need for contact lenses. Now THAT is something you can feel great about!

See You Soon!

Let’s face it: Nobody LOVES their contact lenses. They’re just an inconvenient means to an end – seeing clearly. With LASIK, most people see even more clearly than they ever did with contacts and glasses. With the negative effects contact lenses have on both you and the planet, why not say goodbye to them today? Get started by taking the online LASIK candidacy test. Then book your EyeAnalysisTM consultation with the Kugler Vision team today either online or by calling 402-558-2211 now. We look forward to meeting you!

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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