TerraCycle launches blister pack recycling solution

International recycling leader TerraCycle has announced the launch of TerraCycle BlisterBack, a solution for players across the health industry – from care services and hospitals to GPs and pharmacies – to join forces in the effort to fight against plastic waste and stop empty medicine blister packs from being incinerated or ending up in landfill.

Medicine blister packs are made of a complex mix of difficult-to-recycle materials required to protect medicines, including plastic and aluminium foil. This makes them complex and therefore costly to recycle. Ultimately, the recycled material is worth less than the recycling process costs, so it is not economically viable for local authorities to collect or recycle them via kerbside collections.

There are important retailer-led initiatives in the UK that already enable the recycling of empty medicine blister packs via selected stores. With TerraCycle BlisterBack, TerraCycle offers consumers unprecedented access to medicine blister packs recycling.

TerraCycle Europe general manager Julien Tremblin said: “TerraCycle has been recycling empty blister packs in the UK for years, launching our first solutions in 2018 and since then, we have collected and recycled more than 75 million blister packs at hundreds of locations around the UK. TerraCycle BlisterBack has a simple premise, in that we are encouraging multiple actors whether big pharmacy chains, independent pharmacies at a local level, GP practices, local councils amongst others, to come together to fund and offer access to the recycling of empty medicine blister packs for their stores, locations, local communities and customers or residents.

We aim to develop a growing and robust nationwide network of drop-off points over the coming months and years so people across the UK have somewhere to take their empty medicine blister packs to be recycled.”

Adam Herriott, senior specialist, WRAP, commented: “Blister packs are a difficult to recycle item and this is a positive step in tackling an ongoing problem. Having widespread collection points will help more people recycle and stop many blister packs from going to landfill.”


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