Medicines are produced by manufacturers to help prevent disease, alleviate symptoms, and save lives. Still, there is a growing recognition that the packaging of our pills and other medicines have a negative impact on the environment.
Over the years, the world has become progressively more concerned about the amount of waste we create on a daily basis, and efforts to improve sustainability are at the top of most government plans. One area that has been overlooked is the pharmaceutical industry, and now there is a push from many countries to create a significant change in how we package our medicines.
All medical products require some form of packaging to protect against damage and tampering; the most common material found throughout all medical products is plastic which is both lightweight and durable but not easily recyclable.
Plastic is a versatile material that has been used for decades as a way to provide an effective and tamper-proof barrier that preserves the medical product integrity until use. When blister packaging was first introduced, it was a revolutionary way to administer pills, delivering practical and cost-effective doses ready for consumption by the patient.
However, today plastic is known as an enemy of the environment, with many people uncomfortable with how much plastic is used in the medical world.
The composite materials that make up plastic are a nightmare to recycle. In the case of blister packaging, you need to separate the materials before the product can be recycled; this means removing the aluminium from the plastic before it goes into the recycling bin.
As the consumer demand for the use of plastic to be reduced, companies like Klöckner Pentaplast offer alternatives to traditional plastic to alleviate the strain on our environment with sustainable blister packaging.
Recycling is vital for many reasons, and many people grew up being taught to recycle everything they use; this is why many people today use their own fabric bags when shopping. Unfortunately, many items cannot be recycled and end up at dumps which is why many industries are making the change to sustainable packaging and products.
Sustainable packaging can be recycled, and this reduces the amount of non-renewable energy used in the plastic-making process as creating new items from old ones requires significantly less energy during the production process. This not only reduces the strain on the power grid but also reduces the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere by using less coal and oil.
Blister packs are one of the highest single-use plastics consumed on a daily basis in the UK and is one of the most significant contributors to packaging waste.
As mentioned in our previous point, blister packaging comprises of a complex mix of difficult-to-recycle materials, which are typically not accepted by most council recycling systems and tend to end up in household waste.
As we make the change to sustainable blister packaging, pharmacies and their customers can help the environment and reduce waste with this small change that allows them to recycle empty blister packs.