March 4, 2018
Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet This Clean Up Australia Day
Clean Up Australia Day is all about keeping the environment we live in beautiful and clean, preventing rubbish from entering our oceans and damaging our wildlife. With Clean Up Australia Day being celebrated today, we want to support the amazing organisation that it is and encourage all Australians to not only clean up their area, but their medicine cabinet as well.
It’s so important to pick up the rubbish that may be lurking in your town. But have you thought about cleaning your medicine cabinet lately? Not only can expired or unwanted medicines pose a threat by remaining in the home, if they are disposed incorrectly they also end up in landfill which then has the potential to end up in our waterways, harming the environment. After you’ve helped clean up your local town, consider cleaning out your medicine cabinet with these simple steps:
Read the labels and expiry dates
Start with pulling out all your medicines and checking the expiry dates and types of medicine. If the medicine is out of date, remove it from the cupboard. Expired medicines may be less effective or hazardous due to a change in chemical composition or a decrease in strength. Unwanted medicines should also be removed- such as medication for a previous condition that you no longer present. It is also recommended that if medications have no labels, you don’t know what they are, they appear to be a combination of medicines or just don’t look right to throw them out. The risk of accidental medicine mix ups or poisoning is a risk not worth taking!
Think about your medicine cabinet location
Whilst you are cleaning your medicine cabinet out, consider if the place where you store your medicines is right. Is it a cool, dry place? Most importantly, is it well out of reach of children and pets? It’s so important to keep medicines away from children to prevent accidental poisoning.
Return, return, return!
Now that you’ve got all your unwanted and expired medicines together, it’s time to dispose of them. But the correct way to dispose of them is NOT in the household garbage or down the toilet. This has the potential to go straight to our waterways and is very damaging to the environment. The correct way to dispose of them is to take them out of their packaging and return them to the pharmacy, where they can be disposed in the RUM bin.
The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.