A new scheme to tackle hard-to-recycle medicine blister packs has been introduced in the UK.
The Medicine Packet Recycling Programme follows a partnership between manufacturer Sanofi and Terracycle, which specialises in operating free recycling programmes funded by brands, manufacturers and retailers to collect and recycle their products. Once collected, the empty blister packets are separated by polymer type and then extruded into pellets.
The scheme allows consumers in the UK to recycle any empty prescription or over-the-counter medicine blister packet for free by putting the packs in dedicated bins at a local participating pharmacy. The partnership plans up to 400 drop-off locations across the UK in the first year.
Silvina Vilas, UK marketing director at Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, adds: ‘Until now there hasn’t been a solution for the growing problem of medicine packaging waste. Working together with pharmacy teams and the public, our ambition is to help reduce plastic waste from landfill by letting little packs live again as reusable products, from waste bins to outdoor furniture, resulting in a big positive impact on the environment.’
Laure Cucuron, general manager for TerraCycle Europe, says: ‘Blister packs are made of a complex mix of difficult-to-recycle materials required to protect medicines, including plastic and aluminium foil, which are not accepted by most council recycling systems so end up in household waste.’
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