If You Are Disposing Prescription Medicines Like This, You Are Doing It Wrong (and How to Change It)
How are you disposing prescription medicines? Are you sure that you are doing it right?
If your answer to the above was, “yes,” think again.
You may not realize it but if you are tossing old and/or expired prescription medicines in the household trash or flushing them down the toilet, not only are you disposing of them incorrectly, you also are actually adding to the nation’s pollution problem and potentially harming our critical natural resources.
Yes, it’s true.
After being flushed or poured down the drain, many medications pass through sewer and septic systems. Because these systems can’t always treat or remove all the medications, they may end up in streams, lakes, and groundwater. This can cause adverse effects in fish and other aquatic wildlife as well as unintentional human exposure to chemicals.
In addition to harming our environment, disposing of medication in the trash, makes it easier for drugs to fall into the wrong hands and continue the cycle of addiction and/or misuse.
A recent survey showed that Americans often hold on to their unused prescriptions for future use, for fear of their illness returning or because they don’t know how to get rid of them. In fact, 47% of Americans currently have 1-3 bottles of unused prescriptions in their medicine cabinet followed by 8% with 4-6 bottles, 2% with more than 10 bottles and 2% with 7-10 bottles.
With no knowledge of safe disposal practices, one in four (25%) Americans admit to flushing leftover/unused prescription drugs down the drain, and another 25% toss unused prescriptions in the trash. The unfortunate reality when it comes to drug disposal is that many people don’t know the right way to discard their old prescriptions.
But there is a solution to this problem. To protect the environment and our communities, prescription medicines patients and their caregivers should be aware of potential disposal complications and be educated on the proper methods of disposing unneeded drugs.
There’s a helpful strategy easily available that can help: drug deactivation and disposal pouches. They’re a safe, effective choice that can be used to destroy and properly dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications.
With the simple addition of tap water, any medications placed in a pouch are rendered harmless by its patented activated carbon technology. Then, the plant-based pouch is completely safe to dispose of in normal household trash, preventing contamination of landfills and water systems.
Nancy Devine, Chief Operating Officer of Verde Environmental Technologies Inc., spoke with me to discuss details on how to keep your medications from polluting the environment by using safe deactivation and disposal methods.
About Our Guest
NANCY DEVINE – Chief Operating Officer
Nancy Devine joined Verde Environmental Technologies Inc. in January 2019 as Chief Operations Officer. She has over 25 years of experience in a variety of industries and roles including environmental and safety management, regulatory affairs, insurance, procurement, and most recently as Director of Risk Management supporting the supply chain and operations division of a large food manufacturer. Devine is a key part of the Verde Technologies leadership team, and she brings extensive experience building processes that drive efficiency and cost savings to support sustainable growth. Devine has an undergraduate degree in Physics and a graduate degree in Environmental and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.