National Pharmacies first to recycle blister packs

Image credit: National Pharmacies
National Pharmacies is the first South Australian pharmacy chain to recycle empty medicine blister packs. They have been met with an overwhelming amount of public support for the trial.

National Pharmacies’ have seen members and customers divert 1200L or 60,000 blister packs from landfill over the last six weeks. The trial program, run in nine Natrional Pharmacies stores, was conducted in partnership with national pharmaceutical recycler, Pharmacycle.

Prior to this, blister packs have not been recyclable and they cannot be disposed of in household recycling.

The program is set to be adopted across all 44 National Pharmacies stores. It is estimated that over the next 12 months National Pharmacies members and customers will divert from landfill more than 30,000 litres or about 1.4 million blister packs.

National Pharmacies Chief Executive, Vito Borrello, said National Pharmacies was heartened by the strong consumer support.

“Members and customers clearly want to do the right thing and we will give them the means to do just that.”

Vito Borrello, Chief Executive

“We are, therefore, excited to extend blister pack recycling to all our stores in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. It is an initiative that aligns with our purpose at National Pharmacies. Our members have been vocal on social media in their praise of it. Many said they had been saving and storing blister packs at home for years not knowing what to do with them.”

Once the recycling boxes are full, Pharmacycle collects them from participating pharmacies. They then process the contents at a specialist facility in Australia. This separates the plastic from aluminium. The plastic and aluminium are then re-purposed as construction materials and thermal blocks.

The success of the trial highlights strong community demand for better recycling of pharmaceutical waste. The program expansion to include all National Pharmacies stores, Pharmacycle and National Pharmacies will meet consumer expectations.

National Pharmacies


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