We are just over halfway through Plastic-Free July! So far so good. I
think the only thing I’ve bought that may have come in or with single-use plastic
are two items I ordered online.

One area of my life where I can’t avoid single-use plastics are
my prescriptions. I take four prescription medications every day. (Yay drugs!) I
have to get refills on two of them every month, and for the other two, I can
get a 90-day supply from the pharmacy.

These are my Prescriptions.

As part of my efforts to move towards a zero-waste lifestyle,
I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my life, but the pharmacy won’t
let you bring your own containers. I am in the process of switching my vitamins
from plastic containers to glass (preferably with a metal lid) as I run out of
each one and buy a replacement.

I decided to look for ways to keep my plastic bottles out of
landfill and continue to be used as a bottle.

The Pharmacy Won’t Take Prescription Bottles Back

All my medications are tablets, clean simple tablets. You’d
think it would be easy to bring my empty bottle back to the pharmacy so they
can remove the label, clean it, and reuse it, right?


I called my pharmacy’s customer service line, and they said they
don’t allow customers to return their bottles. But the rep said they have an agreement
with the recycling services in some cities to get their bottles back after
people recycle them.

A spark of hope! Did they have an agreement with my city?


<Sigh> Back to the drawing board.

I Found a Charity that Recycles Prescriptions Bottles

After digging around on the internet for organizations that
take empty prescription bottles, I found Matthew 25: Ministries.
It appears to be a reputable

Matthew 25: Ministries accepts prescription and
over-the-counter pill bottles, and uses them to help distribute medical aid in developing
countries. Many times, when medication is delivered as part of humanitarian aid
to developing countries, it comes in a big package, and they don’t have containers
in which to distribute the medication. Instead, people are given their pills wrapped in paper,
which provides little to no protection from moisture or other elements, and
sometimes they’re just put
in the recipient’s hand
. Our donated pills bottles can have a second life
and help someone get the medication they need.

Donate your empty pill bottles Matthew 25: Ministries by
sending them to 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH  45242. Be sure to check out their detailed instructions in advance. If
you don’t follow them, your bottles will be shredded and recycled.

In preparation of sending my first donation to Matthew 25:
Ministries, I keep a cardboard box from a previous Amazon delivery on a kitchen
chair, where I toss my empty bottles as they are emptied. It looks like it’s
full enough to ship now.

Bottles to be Cleaned and Shipped.

I’m pleased I found a charity that takes my prescription
bottles and my other bottles for pills that I can only find in plastic, like ibuprofen,
antacids, and Rosie’s supplement.

Rosie, my
basset hound
, is also on medication. (She’s old.) I called our vet, and
they said they’d be happy to take back her empty prescription bottles. It feels
good to find a way to use these unavoidable plastics to help others and the

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