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Pharmacies Cut Paper Use, Save Energy, Recycle Bottles

pharmacyPharmacies are implementing environmental initiatives that recycle plastic bottles and vials, cut down on paper usage and help save energy. Wegman’s, for instance, expects to save 11 million pieces of paper annually under a new initiative.

As an example, Leesburg Pharmacy in Leesburg, Va., not only recycles stock bottles and patients’ prescription vials, it also has a take-back program that accepts unused and expired medications, which is then incinerated in a waste-to-energy facility where emissions from the burn are used to generate power, reports Modern Medicine.

Similarly, the Good Day Pharmacy, a chain of 11 stores in Colorado, said in the article that it started a recycling program a few years ago for drug bottles, paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum cans,  and also has a return program for disposal of unused and expired medications.

The Ladd Family Pharmacy in Boise, Idaho, took an energy-efficient path to going green and replaced all of its existing lights with more efficient ones that use a third as much energy, according to Modern Medicine. In return, the Idaho Power Co. reimbursed the pharmacy for half the installation costs.

Wegmans Food Markets took aim at cutting its paper usage in pharmacy prescription refill information by 10 million fewer pieces of paper a year, reports Supermarket News.

This is according to a column written by Mary Ellen Burris, senior vice president of consumer affairs for Wegmans. Burris attributes the paper reduction to the implementation of new pharmacy software and reformatting essential drug-usage information.

Burris also noted that Wegmans is working on paper supply that will have more recycled content, and the plastic packaging for the medication can be recycled along with other plastic bags in Wegmans’ recycling containers.

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