If you are a person who uses medicines regularly, you are probably aware of the waste produced by plastic medicine bottles. There are several ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste in your household. One is to switch to a sustainable medicine bottle.
Prescription paper pill bottles
PPPB is a member of the Tikkun Olam Makers, a global maker movement, and this group of designers and developers works to solve social problems through innovative solutions. They have designed the PPPB, which is available to pharmacies for trial and distribution. PPPB is 100% biodegradable and compostable and meets the FDA requirements for water, light, and child resistance.
Prescription bottles come in different shapes and colours, including aqua, red, cobalt blue, orange, and dark green. Typically, they have labels attached that provide information about the medicine, the time of day, and the frequency. In addition, some prescription bottles have attached lids that allow easy tablet access.
Despite being environmentally friendly, most prescription bottles are unrecyclable and often end up in landfills or oceans. In addition, many medications are expensive and limited in supply.
The Prescription Paper Pill Bottle is a sustainable packaging container that encourages consumers to reduce their environmental impact. In addition, it provides a solution to the problem of single-use plastic packages.
Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, the PPPB is a simple solution that promotes sustainable packaging. As a result, it has been recognised by various industry groups, winning Silver in the Clio Health Awards and an honourable mention in the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards.
PPPB has also been nominated for the Webby awards. In addition, outdoor posters, videos, and social media posts supported the Prescription Paper Pill Bottle campaign. During the two-month campaign, 54 million media impressions were created.
During the pilot program, ten independently owned pharmacies began distributing the PPPB. As part of the public-private initiative, a nonprofit is working on expanding bottle distribution to larger pharmacies.
Currently, PPPB is sold through any pharmacy that is interested in participating. As a sustainable solution, it is a simple, cost-effective way to eliminate toxic chemicals and harmful dyes in your prescription package.
Biodegradable medicine bottles
Considering recycling your old prescription medicine bottles, consider biodegradable options. These are as effective as plastic containers but will compost in 3-6 months.
Plastic bottle disposal is a common problem, with almost 90 per cent of all prescription medications needing to be recycled. In addition, medicines can affect wildlife and water supplies and eventually make their way into human consumption.
Several companies are aiming to solve this issue with biodegradable medicine bottles. Some are simple solutions to problems, while others have more complex designs.
The most common type of prescription pill bottle is made of polypropylene. It is also known as polyethylene. It is a type of high-densulamidate plastic. In addition to its use in household products, it can also be used to make carpets and fabric.
In addition to its durability, polypropylene is a partially recyclable material. However, the small size of prescription pills makes it difficult for recycling companies to accept them.
Another challenge was making them child-proof. They need to be airtight and watertight. Child-resistant caps are available, but the mechanism for them is usually plastic. That can make it difficult for a child to open a plastic bottle.
Paper pill bottles are not as airtight as their plastic counterparts but do not require toxic inks or dyes. Instead, they can be composted, re-used, or thrown in a local compost bin.
There are also other sustainable alternatives to plastic band-aids. For example, PATCH Compostable Adhesive Bandages are biodegradable from bamboo fibres.
A global movement of makers is trying to find a way to bring sustainable products to the market. One such group is Tikkun Olam Makers, based in Israel.
Their goal is to help solve social problems through innovation. One of their projects is the Prescription Paper Pill Bottle, a 100% compostable, single-use package designed to meet the FDA’s child and light resistance requirements.
The Prescription Paper Pill Bottle is available for purchase at any pharmacy. As with any product, its safety and functionality are a consideration.
Reducing plastic waste
The healthcare industry generates 133,000 tonnes of plastic each year. The Royal College of Physicians has outlined 12 principles for improving waste management. They recommend using environmentally friendly products over disposables and implementing innovative technology to minimise waste.
Some healthcare facilities have already implemented initiatives to reduce their waste. Others have partnered with recycling companies to process medical waste and convert it into biodegradable material.
A Canadian hospital cut its cost by 30% by implementing a recycling program. However, 48% of respondents needed to know which items could be recycled.
According to the EPA, recycling one gallon of water uses half the energy and, if done correctly, can help reduce global warming. In addition, recycling can be a good option for healthcare organisations to earn an income.
The NHS launched a campaign to reduce the carbon footprint of its healthcare systems. One of the goals is to minimise the production and use of plastic. It includes medicine bottles, sterile single-use devices, and IV bags.
An estimated 91% of plastics in health care are not recycled. That’s a lot of waste to be disposed of. Fortunately, there are many ways for healthcare organisations to reduce their environmental impact.
A suitable start method is using reusable plastics instead of disposable ones. These include IV bags, syringes, and blister packs for medicines. There are also several ways to reuse unused supplies, such as distributing them to local medical centres.
Reducing healthcare waste will help you survive a supply chain crisis and be more resilient in socioeconomic and political changes. In addition, by implementing the best practices, you’ll reduce your environmental footprint and help improve the health of populations worldwide.
The NHS has committed to developing more advanced and sustainable packaging waste management technologies to lower its carbon footprint. The most significant challenge is reducing the volume of waste. But the industry’s biggest threat comes from improper disposal. In reducing waste, it’s necessary to involve stakeholders, including hospitals, manufacturers, and recyclers.
Reducing health care’s environmental impact will benefit everyone, from health professionals to the general public. It may even save lives.