Have you ever wondered what to do with your old, orange, #5 plastic prescription bottles? Most municipal recycling programs do not accept them. The City of Seattle most assuredly does *not*, citing the orange plastic as "too brittle to recycle", even though they accept other forms of #5 plastic.
The orange bottles that hold prescription medication are typically made of polypropylene, also known as PP or by the resin code #5. Polypropylene is the plastic of choice for many food manufacturers and can also be used to make fabric and household products like carpeting and roof membranes.
The tough thing about reusing the pill bottles though, is that they should not hold food products, lest leftover medication make its way into food. Add that to the difficulty of disposing of leftover painkillers, antibiotics, sleep medication and antidepressants, and finding a way to deal with medicine bottles in an eco-friendly manner can seem like a lost cause. However, there is hope: Matthew 25: Ministries.
The work of Matthew 25: Ministries helps the poorest of the poor and disaster victims throughout the United States and around the world by donating the stuff most of us throw away: including old medical equipment.
Specifically, the pill bottles go to developing countries where rural pharmacies may have the medications on hand, but no way to give them to the patients other then filling up those patients' hands or pockets with the pills, which in turn, that get lost on the way home. Can you imagine if you went to the Walgreen's counter and the only way to take home your meds was to have the pharmacist dump the pills loose in your purse?
To prepare your bottles for shipment, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Bottles included in shipments of medical supplies must have an all-plastic lid.
- Sort bottles by color and type.
- Remove labels, leaving no glue or residue.
- Wash bottles in very hot water and dish soap.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Replace lids on clean, dried bottles.
- Place clean, recapped bottles in large zip-lock bags marked “Clean Bottles.” These will be blended with medical supplies.
Please send pill bottles to:
Matthew 25: Ministries
11060 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242
- If one person uses only *two*, 3-inch tall prescription bottles a month, he/she creates a pill bottle tower of 6 feet per year.
- If ten people uses only *two*, 3-inch tall prescription bottles a month, a 60-foot tower of pill bottles would be created per year.
- If 100 people use only two prescription bottles a month, this makes a 600-foot tower.
- That is the height of the Seattle Space Needle, folks (The Space Needle is 605')
I happen to be one of those 100 people- I take two meds for high blood pressure per month and use two bottles a month.
Please consider joining me in keeping those pill bottles out of the landfill by donating to Matthew 25: Ministries. Lastly- know they also donate to people in need domestically in the USA as well.