Frequently Asked Questions
What does Project 2x2 collect and recycle?
We collect and recycle your used contact lens plastic blisters. These blisters are made of polypropylene (PP) (plastics recycling “#5” – which is usually engraved onto the blister itself).
What happens to the blisters you collect from me?
Blisters we collect are passed on to Tay Paper Recycling to be sorted, and sent to plastic recyclers to be cleaned and processed into recycled plastic pellet forms.
These plastic pellets will then be used as feedstock material in the production and manufacturing of new products and applications such as clothing fibers, industrial fibers, food containers, etc.
Why can't I just recycle my blisters using the blue recycling bins?
The biggest challenge that leads to the low plastics recycling rate in Singapore is that of mixed waste streams. Some material streams are easier to separate than others – hence paper/cardboard see a recycling rate of 56%, but plastics only see 4% (NEA statistics).
This disparity exists globally, but is particularly severe here in Singapore – this 4% recycling rate is the lowest in recent history.
Processing requires the sorting of mixed waste streams into their respective material types in order for recycling to take place. Paper, aluminium, glass, and plastics need to be separated from one another, and within plastics alone there are at least 7 different types (Polypropylene, which is what contact lens blisters are made of, is “#5”, for example) that also need to be separated for recycling.
Because blue bin waste arrives in mixed form at the central waste facilities, sorting costs are high – especially for certain material streams, and for plastics in particular. To further compound issues, the profitability of recycling plastics is very thin. What is not cost effective or gets filtered out while sorting, then ends up in landfills or incineration.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to make things better. It’s our hope that initiatives like Project 2×2 help bridge this gap directly sorting at the consumer level, far earlier than the final point of consolidation, which eases the burden and lessens the cost for those engaged in the actual recycling itself. It’s a humble and first step in assisting in a gradual solution that starts from the consumption part of the supply chain.
How about the lens itself or the aluminium lid/foil?
At the moment, please send only the contact lens blisters to Project 2×2 and dispose of the lens itself and the top foil into the “green bins” to be incinerated.
Currently, technological challenges get in the way of recycling the other components aside from the lens blister.
The lens itself is a very highly specific and complex plastic polymer blend and there is no way to recycle this material currently. The same applies to the blister foil, which is actually a composite material where aluminium is bonded with a film of plastic.
Disposing into the “blue bins” require extra resources for sorting and could eventually end up in landfills instead of being incinerated, whereas items that are in the green bin gets incinerated, which is a slightly better alternative than having it float around landfills.
Although there are people who consider incineration to be recycling. We do not. Unfortunately, there is no better alternative at this time.
We need your help. We would love to speak to technology companies and research institutes that can help us expand Project 2×2 so that we can incorporate other materials into our collections in a way that is both effective and transparent. If you work for, or know people that can help, we’d love to connect – please get in touch at 2×firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many blisters can I fit into the recycling envelopes?
Our recycling envelopes can fit approximately 100 blisters (it will depend on the size of your contact lens brand blisters). Our mailing address is already pre-stamped on the envelopes, so you can send them out whenever you are ready!
Can I use my own envelopes to mail the blisters?
You can definitely recycle and use your own mailers/envelopes to send us the blisters.
You can mail them to us at:
Two of a Kind
39B North Canal Road
Do I have to wash the blisters before sending them?
No you don’t! Just ensure they are dry before putting them into the envelopes.
Where are the drop off locations and timings?
Advocate locations are a grassroots network of startups, proprietors, SME businesses and individuals that have kindly volunteered to host a drop off point at their place of work or business.
We have about 6 Advocate locations at the moment, around Raffles Place, Orchard, Seletar, and Tuas. You can drop your blisters off at any of these locations. See the locations here: twooak.com/2x2locate/
I'm not staying in Singapore, can I still mail my blisters to you?
Unfortunately, the environmental footprint of shipping the blisters internationally might be worse than the impact of incinerating the blisters.
While our focus at this time is recycling contact lens blisters, sustainability exists across the whole spectrum of human activity, and we need to be careful not to lose sight of the bigger picture.
Instead of shipping to us, we did have supporters who collected blisters from friends and brought them to the Studio when they came to Singapore. Not only is that a more convenient and cost-effective way to effect this, it’s also better for the environment.
How can I help?
There are many ways that you can help with Project2x2!
The first and easiest way is to share this with as many friends as possible.
Upload photos and tag #project2x2.
We’re also always on the lookout for:
Interns and Contributors
Increasing our Advocate location network
We would also love to speak to technology companies and research institutes that can help us expand Project 2×2 so that we can incorporate other materials into our collections in a way that is both effective and transparent.
If you work for or know people that can help in any way above, please contact us at 2×email@example.com!