Ecotip – Act to cut medicine waste

Wasted or unused medicine is a serious and growing problem for both the NHS and the environment. And it is something you can help tackle.

It is estimated that as much as £300 million is wasted every year in the UK on unused or partially used medication which cannot be recycled or re-used. A campaign called Only Order What You Need, working with the NHS, asks people to think carefully before ordering repeat prescriptions.

In addition to the cost of the medicines, they can cause pollution of our water resources and damage water treatment processes if not disposed of properly. Once medicines have left the pharmacy, they cannot be recycled or re-used by anyone else. Unopened, unused and out-of-date medicines can be returned to pharmacies for disposal. Never flush medicines down the toilet or put them in your domestic waste.

For more information, see Only Order What You Need at