Plastics Group Extends Grocery Recycling Program to Pharmacies

The Association of Plastic Recyclers says it’s seeing significant success with its rigid-plastics recycling program targeted at grocery stores. Now, APR is helping grocery-store pharmacies take part in the program.

The pharmacies of the world might find recycling their plastics a little bit easier going forward.

That’s thanks to a new resource by the Association of Plastic Recyclers designed to educate specific facilities on how to recycle their waste plastics. In collaboration with the American Chemistry Council, APR is working to help educate pharmacies on how to best sustainably reuse “behind-the-counter” plastics—used to store stock—without requiring extra work from pharmacists. The program is being targeted at pharmacies in grocery stores.

The guidebook [PDF] is an extension of APR’s plastics recycling program targeted at grocery stores. Liz Bedard, APR’s rigid-plastics recycling director, noted that the move was somewhat natural.

“Pharmacies offer a unique grocery store waste reduction opportunity,” Bedard said in a news release. “Many pharmacies are making the switch from disposing of large volumes of stock bottles to setting up dedicated pharmacy stock bottle recycling collection bins.”

The Recycle Grocery Rigid Plastics program, which APR launched in 2013 as the Grocery Store Recycling Program, attempts to make an economic case for recycling. In a 2015 study released by the group, it claimed that recycling post-consumer plastics could prove a revenue source for grocers, raising between $100 and $200 from a 1,000-pound bale of recycled rigid plastic. Additionally, APR noted the supply in stores was significant—as much as 350 million pounds nationally.

In the case of pharmacy containers, the association says a small pharmacy could make $100 in revenue per year from plastics recycling—a cost savings that is more significant when considered at scale, throughout a chain of hundreds of stores, in addition to other plastics recycling endeavors.

APR has seen success making its case nationally with Recycle Grocery Rigid Plastics, with 4,500 stores and 10 national chains in 32 states taking part in the initiative, according to its news release.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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