One Year Mark for Extended Producer Responsibility of Sharps and Pharmaceuticals in Ontario Shows Industry-Run Programs are a Success

OTTAWA, Oct. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) is pleased to announce the year one results on the performance of the Ontario Sharps Collection Program and the Ontario Medications Return Program, the first two extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs legislated under Regulation 298/12 of the Ontario Environmental Protection Act. In year one of these new programs 201,971 kgs of used sharps and 328,404 kgs of unused/expired medications were returned by consumers to participating retail pharmacies. Over 84% of eligible pharmacies in Ontario are now registered and voluntarily participating in these programs.

In total, more than 530 tonnes of materials were removed from homes in Ontario through the two programs between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013. Producers of these products have made significant gains toward preventing illicit diversion and abuse of medications in households and have helped reduce drug and needle related accidents in the home by providing consumers with easy access to retail pharmacy locations where materials can be returned for proper disposal. Keeping used needles and unused/expired medications out of household garbage and out of sewage treatment systems is also a priority of the HPSA programs.

Under the EPR regulation in Ontario, HPSA has established effective plans for managing post-consumer sharps and medications that include an ongoing promotion and education strategy for consumers and retail pharmacies that began in March 2013. HPSA has also untaken the first ever review of the voluntary retail pharmacy collection network to promote awareness of program requirements, to encourage more pharmacies to register and to ensure material from industrial, commercial and institutional generators is not entering the post-consumer collection network. These efforts have produced a 10% increase in volumes of materials collected compared to the prior programs that were administered by Stewardship Ontario under the Waste Diversion Act and funded by Ontario taxpayers.

About the Health Products Stewardship Association

The Health Products Stewardship Association is a not-for-profit, industry-led, producer responsibility organization established in 1999. HPSA was formed to provide the health product industries with a collective means for managing their EPR obligations under regulated programs in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario. HPSA and the programs it administers are funded entirely by the participating health products industries.

SOURCE: Health Products Stewardship Association

For further information:

For more information about the Ontario Sharps Collection Program or the Ontario Medications Return Program visit HYPERLINK "http://www.healthsteward.ca" or contact: Earl Black, HPSA President, at 416-401-7561

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