While researching drug disposal techniques and various take-back initiatives, I came across an article that explains why this project is important. My initiative for tackling a drug take-back program was to incorporate my skills I have learned from my communication degree with my background in medical sciences. I had limited knowledge about how the improper disposal of medications effected the environment before reading this article. Now, I feel more passionate than ever that this cause is important not only for the sake of the environment but for human health as well.
This article not only explains how the pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) are toxic to the environment, but also how marketing and public awareness are not effectively giving people the information they need to dispose of PPCPs correctly.
One of the most interesting points this article makes is about how the marketing of drugs does not give instruction for their proper disposal. Why this isn’t happening already is baffling to me because it could alleviate many uncertainties and give customers clear instruction on how to dispose of unused medication. While steps are being taken to move towards this, other issues arise in how drugs are obtained, manufactured, and delivered; not to mention the lack of consumer education when it comes to the environmental impact of these PPCPs.
Projects like my Great Drug Take-Back Initiative (as I have so named it) are important to not only take some of the unused medication out of the public, but to more importantly educate the consumers on the proper techniques and the impact to the environment. My hope with this project is to get consumers thinking more about how their actions impact the environment and therefore every aspect of human life.
The full article is available by searching the following:
Daughton, C. G. (2003). Cradle-to-cradle stewardship of drugs for minimizing their environmental disposition while promoting human health. I. Rationale for and avenues toward a green pharmacy. Environmental Health Perspectives,111(5), 757.