March 22, 2018
Taking care of our water this World Water Day
Today is World Water Day, a day to focus our attention on the importance of our waterways. A huge amount of rubbish and other disposables end up in our waterways which is not only damaging to our environment but for our health. Protecting our waters is a big task, but there’s a couple of ways you can reduce pollution and protect our environment.
One way we can help minimise medicines ending up in our waterways is not disposing of them down the drain or in our household rubbish. Unbelievably, many Australians still think throwing their medicine down the drain or in the household rubbish is the right thing to do. This isn’t sustainable or safe, because it means medicine may leach into our waterways and subsequently in our drinking water. Sewerage systems are not designed to remove medicines and their metabolites completely and may not be able to cope with the added burden of additional medicines being inappropriately disposed in the rubbish or tipped down the drain. We all need to act to minimise this happening and one way you can is disposing your medicine properly.
The correct way to dispose of medicines properly is to follow the three simple steps of:
READ: Go to the areas in your home where you store medicines. Read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines. Consider whether you actually need them.
REMOVE: Remove all expired and unwanted medicines from your home medicine area and place them in a bag or container. If the medicine comes in a cardboard box, that can be recycled separately.
RETURN: Return your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist will put them in a secure bin for safe disposal. Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids, creams and veterinary medicines can all be disposed of in a designated The RUM Project bin.
Following these simple steps can ensure that your medicine does not possibly end up in our waterways!
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.