Is responsible medicine disposal the next wave in sustainable consumerism?

  Single pill in blisters

Did you know that – on average – 1 out of 3 pills we bring home from the pharmacy go unused?

Unfinished or outdated medicines are pilling up in our medicine cabinets and are too often ending up in the trash; in the hands of those who are not prescribed; or flushed down our toilets and into the piped water abyss.

Drugs enter our streams, rivers and waterways from many sources. As effective as water treatment plants are, they were not designed to filter small traces of pharmaceutical residues. As a result, those residues are sometimes found at low levels in our lakes and rivers, and can harm the aquatic environment. As an example, numerous studies have shown that certain drugs such as estrogen can cause male fish to develop female characteristics.

United Water through a program called “Dispose My Meds” sponsors and encourages people to take unused or outdated drugs to a pharmaceutical collection. From this website, you can locate a pharmacy near you that will collect and properly dispose of your unused meds – for free!

Most recently, United Water partnered with Stop-and-Shop to expand a medicine disposal program to seven locations in Nassau County, NY. 

The Dispose My Meds  program, managed by the National Community Pharmacy Association,  incinerates nearly 150,000 lbs of unused medication every year.  That’s nearly 100 lbs of medication from each participating local pharmacy, or the equivalent of 100 lbs of medication that is not dumped into our natural environment or waterways. 

United Water is proud to think beyond the water treatment process and to use all means available to protect aquatic life and our precious waterways.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *