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  • Susan Russell

“LISTEN TO YOUR MOM TAKE YOUR MEDICINE....” ....and now what ?????

Does this sound familiar? For some of you an order from a long time ago, for some maybe less. For the ones who have to go pretty long back in Memory Lane, having been obedient, you find yourself with a respectable amount of empty pill bottles, right? Even if you only had a few prescriptions in your life. The reason for this story has been the many questions people have asked about recycling of empty pill bottles. I attended last month a county funded recycling talk [] offered in their Spring Catalog: Recycling 101. The knowledgeable presenters could not escape the negative message recycling offers us, because recycling is easier talked about, than what in reality can be practiced. We all have learned the clear message that recycling has to be first a “lucrative” business. Making new plastic items is much cheaper than recycling old into new things. The US produces over billions of pill bottles a year. Nothing has yet been evaluated based on the cost to our climate, due to the heavy “CO 2” footprint. Those days will come sooner than later. Many attendees with the question what to do with their stack of empty pill containers got a negative answer. I experienced that same problem myself. When picking up my refill last week, I asked the pharmacy in the Village the question again, however this time I got a surprising answer: “Bring your empty container and it will be professionally sanitized and reused”. The young and friendly face smiled wide at me. I had the employee repeat this because it sounded so different from what I was used to hearing. Hopeful youth with a hopeful message? For this article I needed to follow up on facts and do backup research on what has been done in this nation and abroad. Information from my ACES’ friend placed this subject in a new light. Several important projects are or have currently been running:

A: Doctors without Borders have been in the past in need of empty bottles in the worst areas where hospitals and medical care barely existed due to war and destruction to infrastructure.Campaign closed.

B: MATTHEW 25, via Ministries have collected bottles to send to Malawi, where patients had to carry pills home in a scrap of paper, due to a lack of safe containers.In less than 8 months, 2 million empty bottles have been collected and sent to Malawi.Campaign closed. C: Canada has sites where schools are involved.

D: In the USA every state has its own options and recycling directions, which also brings confusion to recycling in general.

E: SPCA and Animal shelters could be in need of empty bottles due to lack of funds. My fairly long phone call with CVS headquarters did not lead to a positive recycling option. A pilot program for recycling in the future is their best promise for the moment. Maybe repeating this question by all customers might push for faster action. My native country, The Netherlands, offers prescription paper pill boxes, TOM [Tikkum Olam and Makers] and ECO VIALS are on the market. On the home front here, refills on our own terms seems the best. Just sign a consent? No one tells you that you can not use these small bottles for your own reuse? Once you place responsibility on yourself? When you use one or two meds a day, you will collect more bottles than you need for glue, beads etc. In that case I hope this article will be an invitation to become a dual recycler: One to help persons and/or animals in dire need of safe containers. The other part, to keep these small plastic containers out of the landfill and as a result, out of the environment. [saving wildlife] Read the links- some stopped, however you might surprise yourself with a new purpose you can think of. In that case, let us all know.

# Matthew 25, specifics about pill bottle recycling. # This initiative called: GIMME 5, started a couple of years ago, to make an effort to reuse, recycle plastics # 5. It closed after too much work and not an effective outcome. Now bundling together with large foundations, a stronger push will have a better result. One of them: the soon to be voted on new EPR bill, already in place in several states.The Ellen MacArthur foundation as one of these. # ved#:~:text=The%20New%20Plastics%20Economy%20Global,busine sses%2C%20governments%20and%20endorsing%20signatories. Local SPCA, homeless shelter, animal rescue shelters, etc. # Info from RX, regarding guidelines and future info: # at-to-do-with-empty-prescription-pill-bottles Earthub just an interesting site to read: # What does Canada do? #/ ng-clean-empty-label-free-ones/ In general what you can do? # edicine-containers/ An attempt but not yet about pill bottle recycling: # Regarding pill collection # -Submitted by: Jeannet de Jong

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