OTTAWA, July 23, 2019 /CNW/ - Consumers and pharmacists made 2018 a healthy year for the environment by collecting almost 750,000 kilograms of medications and medical sharps for proper disposal through Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA) programs. Canadians brought in their unwanted medications and used medical sharps to the more than 5,500 participating pharmacies in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. On average, 90 percent of all accredited pharmacies in those provinces are drop-off points as part of HPSA's collection network.
"People are taking action. They're returning health products such as medications, needles and syringes to our network of pharmacies," said Ginette Vanasse, Director General of HPSA. "By doing this, they are protecting family members, public workers and the environment. In turn, pharmacists are providing an important community service and helping us ensure the proper disposal of these products."
Educating the public about what, where and how to return products is a key focus for HPSA. In partnership with pharmacies, Drug Free Kids Canada and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada the word is getting out there. Vanasse stated, "Instead of flushing pills or throwing medical sharps in the garbage, we promote safe usage, explain risks associated with unused and/or expired health products and disposal options." HPSA programs are funded by the health industries and are free and easy to use. Just drop your unwanted health products at a pharmacy near you. For more information on the nearest drop-off location go to healthsteward.ca.
In 2018, a total of 728,917 kilograms of consumer health products were collected through HPSA programs:
- British Columbia – 86,632 kgs of medications
- Manitoba – 16,081 kgs of medications
- Ontario – 305,075 kgs of medications and 310,435 kgs of medical sharps
- Prince Edward Island – 4,115 kgs of medications and 6,577 kgs of medical sharps
HPSA is a not-for-profit association funded by the health products industry for more than 20 years. HPSA's objective is grounded in safe management and sound environmental approaches related to the collection and disposal of household medications and medical sharps devices in stewardship regulated provinces. It is committed to continuous improvement of its return programs to reduce consumer health care products environmental impact in Canada.
SOURCE Health Products Stewardship Association
For further information: Ginette Vanasse at 1-613-723-7282