The message is being sent out that you should never flush your used contact lenses or send them down the sink drain, with new research finding that it hurts ocean life. When the lenses break down, the pieces become so small that they make it through the filters out of sewage treatment plants. The microplastic particles can then sink to the ocean floor, where they can harm bottom-feeding fish. As larger fish eat the smaller fish, the polluted plastic makes its way through the food chain, and eventually into human food. The researchers found that 19 percent of contact lens wearers said they flush their lenses down the toilet or dump them down the sink drain.