Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 31: Find a Greener Pharmacy

Megan: I hate all the waste and junk paper that comes with refilling a prescription.

Tony: can you try a local or online pharmacy? Or are they just as bad? For costs, can you go generic or try to split your pills so you only have to buy them half as often?

For some reason, Target will not take back the prescription bottles and refill them or put a new sticker on an existing bottle. They also will not print less paper, and the prescriptions come in a bag that is hand-written on. That means that every 30 days, I was getting a stack of trash that looks like this:

So I decided to try an online option through our health insurance company. When pressed to reduce costs and waste, my doctor wrote my prescription for a generic, and then for double the dose I need, and he said I could split the pills in half to save money. (TONY! You listening?) I figured the pill-splitting part of this would be good for cutting down on trash too. Double-win.

However, here's the mailing package and waste that came with the prescription from online:

I wouldn't say that this is less packaging OR less paper. However, there are two things in the online company's favor: (1) the paper is pretty much all recyclable (unlike Target's paper which is all waxed) (2) the package will only come every other month. The bottle is not recyclable.

The two companies are equal in their bottle replacement policies (namely, they don't, and the bottles are not recyclable), and someone is going to burn carbon (either the mailman to bring me the package or me to drive to Target).

Based on the amount of trash produced either way, I don't feel like this is a very good win for planet, but I do feel like the online/generic/splitting option is a win for pocket.

so far...

Pocket: 5, Planet: 6, Win-Win: 20

1 comment:

  1. For the record, I suggested that Megan try the new local pharmacy in Gibsonville. They deliver and I bet we could convince them to not give us so much junk.