This new year, make it your resolution to return your old and expired meds!

VANCOUVER, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The new year is a great time for a fresh start - and the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet! The BC Pharmacy Association and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District urge British Columbians to return their old medications to their local pharmacy to protect themselves, their families and the environment.

"We are encouraging everyone to make a new year's resolution to safely dispose of their expired or unused medications," said Ralph Lai, president of the BC Pharmacy Association. "British Columbians can return these medications to pharmacies across the province at no cost."

BC's Medications Return Program ensures safe and effective disposal of old or expired prescription drugs, as well as oral dosage over-the counter medications and natural health products. More information on the program can be found at www.medicationsreturn.ca.

"The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is excited to partner with the BC Pharmacy Association to raise awareness and promote safe returns of old medications to pharmacies, rather than disposing them in the garbage or poured down sewers and drains," said Andy Daniel, Manager of Environmental Services for the ACRD. "Proper disposal of medications will keep our children and pets safe and keep the medications from contaminating our rivers, lakes and oceans."

The British Columbia Pharmacy Association is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,700 pharmacists and almost 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is a local government which manages the recycling programs for Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet and Bamfield.

SOURCE: British Columbia Pharmacy Association

For further information:

To interview a pharmacist in the area, please contact Elise Riedlinger, BCPhA: 604.269.2866 / elise.riedlinger@bcpharmacy.ca

To interview a spokesperson at the ACRD, please contact Janice Hill: 250-720-2714 / janice.hill@acrd.bc.ca