March 03, 2020

Are prescription pill bottles recyclable?

Are prescription pill bottles recyclable?

Four billion prescriptions are filled by Americans each year … and then there’s the over the counter medications for everything from a headache to creaky joints to your daily vitamins.

Recycling these bottles is a big pill to swallow.

Your prescription bottle, that small amber bottle doled out to just about every American at some point in their lives, is made of polypropylene, or #5 plastic. Haulers that accept plastics #1-7 will accept your prescription bottles in your curbside bin.

First and foremost, remove all personal information. In general, these labels are easily peeled off the bottle.

Rinse the bottle with warm, soapy water, allow to dry. Put the cap back on and place in your recycling bin.

You can also send prescription bottles with lids to Matthew 25: Ministries who will either shred and recycle or they will sanitize and send to places where medical supplies are needed. To see how to prepare your bottles visit:  www.m25m.org/pillbottles/ and then send to:11060 Kenwood Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45242.

If you have unused medication, do NOT flush it down the toilet or throw it in your trash. Check with your local police department to see if they have a drug take-back program. Speak with your local pharmacy to see if they have a disposal system in place. I have read that some Walgreens stores have safe medication disposal kiosks to provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication at no cost, year-round. I believe CVS may have a similar program in select stores.

Of course, Reuse comes before Recycle and there’s always a way to reuse a prescription bottle! Great spot to hold pins (straight, bobby, safety, push), beads, cotton swabs, nails, tacks, buttons and more. You can make a portable sewing kit. Perfect for making your own travel shampoo, lotion, conditioner. I bet you can find hundreds of ideas on Pinterest! (What on earth did we do before Pinterest?!?!)
As for your over the counter meds, they are made of either plastic #1 or #2 and can be tossed in the recycle bin with their caps on, with no worry.

Now we know! Recycling and reusing all these prescription bottles isn’t too big of a pill to swallow!



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