Optical Lab Sustainability

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To get the ball rolling, I wanted to start something to try and outline some of the lab-specifc areas of concern. That way those of you in the lab space can add on here, and those of you not in the lab have a better understanding of some of the areas of concern we have. 


This is probably the number one in the lab. Swarf is the bits of material left after cutting a lens blank. This is where it goes from a hockey puck to an optical lens with a prescription. The main problem with finding a good way of recycling this has been the bulk/cost involved, as well as the mixed nature of the materials. Since lenses come in a wide variety of materials, the cutting waste is also mixed. Plastic (CR-39) tends to leave a sand-like residue after cutting, while polycarbonate leaves string-like material, much like fake grass in an Easter basket. 


Alloy is used to hold lenses in place during the cutting process. It's reusable, but it does contain elements such as lead, and cadmium, so it isn't exactly environmentally friendly. While there are some more environmentally friendly options available, they tend to be less reusable and substantially more expensive. 

Packaging Materials
More standard here -- frame tags, poly bags, envelopes. 

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