Doing Your Part In Reducing Pharmaceutical Waste
Each year as we celebrate Earth Day, we collectively turn our thoughts towards our impact on the environment and what we can actively be doing to reduce it. You’ve probably thought of the usual things: plant trees, clean beaches, donate to organizations that provide resources to endangered animals, etc. and these are all great steps toward an environmentally healthy future.
However, there is something else that you can do in your everyday life that can make a huge difference in lessening our impact on the Earth. A large contributor to waste and pollution that you may not know much about is pharmaceutical waste. Here is everything you need to know about pharmaceutical waste and what we can do to keep it from damaging the environment.
If you have never heard of pharmaceutical waste, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The term refers to the millions of perfectly good medications that are sent to landfills every year because they aren’t used. Every year, hospitals and nursing homes in the United States generate over 84,000 tons of pharmaceutical waste, a lot of which finds its way into the environment.
70% of our waterways are contaminated by runoff from this waste. These medications are formulated for humans; therefore, they are extremely harmful to any wildlife. In addition to harming our environment, these medications also make their way into our drinking water supply.
46 million Americans are affected by runoff that brings discarded chemicals into their drinking water. Only about half of these chemicals are caught by water treatment plants, which puts us at risk for a wide range of health issues and cancers. According to the Scientific American, scientists that reviewed 10 years of data from water treatment plants all over the world frequently saw that six chemicals had a low rate of removal: an herbicide, an anti-seizure drug, two antibiotics, an antibacterial drug, and an anti-inflammatory drug.
Fortunately, one of the most impactful solutions to this problem is also the solution to another crisis here in the United States. Over 50 million Americans can’t afford the medication they need. Therefore, the number one thing we can do to keep good, unused medications out of landfills is to give them to Americans who need it.
We at Betr Remedies are devoted to this cause. When you purchase your over-the-counter medications from us, you help fund an organization that keeps these wasted medications out of our landfills and waterways and gets them into the hands of those who need but can’t afford them. This way we create a perpetual system of those who can helping those who can’t, meaning that you can purchase the medication you need to feel better, while helping someone who can’t afford to do so. The average prescription that this system is able to provide costs around $45 and our goal is to donate $450 million worth of prescriptions over the next four years. That’s 10 million prescriptions that are both kept out of landfills and offsetting healthcare inequity in the U.S.
Saving the environment doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. By simply purchasing the products you already use every day, you are helping us reduce pharmaceutical waste in our landfills free, keep our waterways clean, and also are putting much needed medications into the hands of people who need it most. It’s one small way that you can make a big difference in saving both our planet and our fellow humans.
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