Independent community pharmacies have been removed from TerraCycle’s programme

Consumer

Following the participating pharmacies becoming overwhelmed with the number of medicine packets requiring to be recycled, independent community pharmacies have been removed from TerraCycle’s programme.

Patients can now use one of the 197 participating Superdrug pharmacies as recycling areas for medicine blister packets, now that Superdrug has taken over as the sponsor.

“Independent community pharmacies have been removed from TerraCycle’s programme.“

Medicine blister packets are a combination of materials that are not yet recycled by council systems and are also problematic to recycle.

The scheme enables the packets to be separated and handled by polymer type before being ejected into plastic pellets to make brand-new recycled products.

Pharmacy sustainability lead, University Hospitals Dorset, Tracy Lyons, stated: “It was a really exciting scheme as so many patients, and health staff, were horrified at the waste going straight into the bin. It was also brilliant because a lot of sustainability work at the moment is high level, but this was a visible and tangible project that everyone could get involved in and generated lots of positive chat.”

Director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, Elen Jones, stated: “The TerraCycle scheme did, for the first time, provide an easy and accessible way for the public to recycle used medicine blister packaging at their local community pharmacy. The RPS wholeheartedly supports the calls on the pharmaceutical industry to join together to help secure a sustainable long-term future for the TerraCycle scheme. We also urge the industry to proactively work with the health service and patients to reduce the carbon footprint of the wider medicines process.”

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