Planet Ark News

A Remedy for Old Medicine

Date: 23-Jun-14
Author: Ryan Collins

Old medicines and x-rays are able to be recycled © Jess McCallum

Old medicines and x-rays are able to be recycled

Do you have medicines at home or work but have no idea what they're for? Perhaps they're out-of-date or simply unwanted? With more then 500 tonnes of medicine finding its way into waterways and landfill each year, its correct disposal is both a human health and environmental issue. So what should you do?

Evidence over many years confirms that medicines ‘stored' in the home is just plain dangerous and is a key source of poisonings of children, and a cause of confusion for the aged.

Unwanted medicines are often flushed down the toilet, washed down the sink or put out with the garbage, which starts an unhealthy journey through the environment.

Sewerage plants can't treat all the chemicals in waste-water. As a result, medicines can travel though the system and out into waterways where they can harm aquatic life.

The Remedy

Fortunately there is painless remedy. Unwanted or expired medicines can be taken to any local pharmacy who will dispose of it safely - and for free.

The service is run through the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project, which is funded by the national Department of Health and Aging.

Find out more

You can find out more information about The RUM Project at Planet Ark's RecyclingNearYou.

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