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UK Pharmacy Launches Blister Pack Recycling Plan

Customers can dispose of their used blister packs, a packaging form notorious for its recycling difficulties, in designated bins at participating stores.

Boots launches recycling pilot scheme for blister packs.
Boots launches recycling pilot scheme for blister packs.
Boots, Inc.

Boots, a prominent UK pharmacy, has initiated a recycling pilot strategy for blister packs, which allows customers to dispose of their used blister packs, a packaging form notorious for its recycling difficulties, in designated bins at participating stores. Blister packs, commonly used for packaging medicine and vitamins, have long posed a challenge for recycling efforts due to their composite materials.

The plan, part of the broader Recycle at Boots program, currently spans over 100 Boots stores and aims to make sustainable disposal options more accessible to consumers.

Natalie Gourlay, head of environmental and social governance at Boots, emphasized the company's commitment to facilitating environmentally friendly choices for its customers. "At Boots, we want to make it easy for our customers to make sustainable choices for a healthy planet - from the products they buy to how they dispose of the packaging once they have used them," Gourlay said. She further explained that the initiative not only allows customers to dispose of their blister packs responsibly but also rewards them for their efforts, integrating sustainability into the shopping experience.

Boots offers rewards to its Advantage Card holders who recycle blister packs through the scheme. Customers who return 15 empty blister packs and spend a minimum of £10 in-store will receive 150 points on their card, encouraging both recycling and continued patronage.

The blister pack recycling initiative is a collaborative effort developed in conjunction with technology partner Metrisk and recycling partner MYGroup. Steve Carrie, group director at MYGroup, highlighted the significance of the partnership. "We’re proud to announce this landmark scheme with Boots, taking our unique circular solution for blister pack recycling further into the mainstream," Carrie remarked.

Once collected, the used blister packs are transported to MYGroup for processing. A specialized machine separates the metal foil from the plastic, facilitating the recycling of the metal and the reprocessing of the plastic into new materials. Some of the plastic is transformed into MYBoardTM, a material used in construction and furniture production, showcasing an innovative approach to repurposing waste.

The broader Recycle at Boots initiative, which encourages the recycling of hard-to-recycle health and beauty product containers, has already seen significant success, with over 3.1 million items collected since its inception in 2020.

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