Recycle expired medicines, a healthy habit

It is advisable to periodically check our domestic botiquln to avoid the accumulation of medications. Empty containers and the remains of medicines that are no longer necessary or that have expired must be deposited at the SIGRE point of the pharmacy. In this way it is guaranteed that these waste will receive the appropriate environmental treatment, avoiding that they can damage our environment.

To take care of our health and the environment, it is essential to use the medicines responsibly and eliminate them through the SiGRE Point when they are no longer needed.

What to deposit in the SIGRE point of the pharmacy?

- When finishing a medicine ... the empty container.
- At the end of a treatment ... the empty containers and the remains of medicines.
- When reviewing the kit ... the medications you do not need and the expired ones. All of them inside your cardboard box.

It is important to note that the containers, even if empty, must also be deposited at the SIGRE point of the pharmacy, since they have been in contact with the medication, and may contain remnants of it.

What not to deposit in SIGRE Point

On the contrary, they should not be deposited in the SIGRE Point: knives, thermometers, x-rays, batteries, gauzes and chemical products.

How to recycle medicines and their containers well

- All the remains of expired or unused medications and their containers must be taken to the SIGRE point of the pharmacy.

- The containers that have been in contact with the medicine (bottles, blister, tubes, aerosols, ampoules, etc.) even if they are empty, must be treated in a specific way and taken to SIGRE Point.

- To be able to identify the different types of medicines and the containers that contained them and give them the correct treatment, they should be taken to SIGRE Point inside their cardboard box.

- Cardboard boxes and containers of all kinds, with the remains of the medication or empty, should not be thrown in the blue container of the paper, nor in the yellow bag of the containers, nor in the green glass container.

Destination of the remains of medicines deposited in the SIGRE point

Once the containers and the remains of medicines have been deposited at the SIGRE point, the pharmaceutical distribution is responsible for collecting these residues and transferring them to their facilities, where they are deposited in sealed containers and stored in specially identified areas.

These containers are collected from the distribution warehouses by authorized waste managers, who transfer them to the Medicines Residue Classification Plant located in Cerceda (A Coruña).

After the classification process, three large groups of fractions are obtained. The first is that of dangerous medicines, which require a specific environmental treatment, for which it is delivered to specialized managers. The second fraction is that of packaging materials that, once classified by their type - paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc. - are delivered to recycling companies. Third, there is the fraction of the remains of non-dangerous medicines that are delivered to a waste manager for their assessment through appropriate environmental treatment.

In this way, the recycling of packaging materials contributes to the saving of raw materials, which are increasingly scarce or expensive to produce, and with the correct elimination of medicines, the environment is protected.

Dr. Román Rodriguez Barriguete. General Physician and Physician of the Work of FCC
Information provided by SIGRE. Medication and Environment.

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