Prescription Medicine Bottles

A topic that came up in the Austin Zero Waste Lifestyle last week, and that I’ve actually gotten a lot of questions on in the past few months is prescription medicine bottles. So let’s discuss!

Prescription medicine bottles, or what the City of Austin calls “pill bottle (empty)” are processed differently depending on where you live so you really need to check with your local providers.

In the City of Austin, per Austin Resource Recovery’s What Do I Do With… app/online search, this item is recyclable in our blue recycling carts. They have

Special Instructions

Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers and recycle them. 

Not all reuse places will accept these. In Austin, Austin Creative Reuse and Thinkery, the children’s museum, explicitly tell you not to donate these materials to them. The don’t want to accept anything that contained medicine.

An option that one of my neighbors in an apartment let me know about is mailing them in to be reused for medicine. Matthew 25 Ministries says the following on their website:

Matthew 25: Ministries accepts donations of empty plastic pill bottles for inclusion in shipments of medical supplies. Our pill bottle program fulfills the dual needs of improving medical care in developing countries and caring for our environment.

Make sure to follow the instructions on sending the bottles in.

Depending on where you live and what numbers, colors, etc. of plastic your utility or recycling center accepts, you will need to ask. If the information is not listed, encourage it to be updated so it is listed and helps others in your area.

If you know of any other groups that can reuse or recycle pill bottles, please let me know.

#prescriptionmedicinebottles #prescriptionpillbottles #pillbottles #medicine #recycle @cvs @walgreens @heb @peoplespharmacy @riteaid @goodneighborpharmacy @costco

You may also like:

Safe Medication Disposal

Pill Pack/Blister Pack/Bubble Pack

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