Over the last year, Ontario saw a 10 per cent increase in the amount of needles and medication recovered under the province’s new extended producer responsibility regulations and the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA).
Between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, the HPSA recovered 201,971 kilograms of used sharps and 328,404 kilograms of medications.
The Ontario Sharps Collection Program and the Ontario Medications Return Program works with pharmacies. The programs are legislated under O. Reg 298/12 of the Ontario Environmental Protection Act.
More than 84 per cent of eligible pharmacies in Ontario are now registered and participating in these programs to prevent illicit diversion and abuse of medications in households and reduce drug and needle-related accidents.
Under the new EPR regulation in Ontario, HPSA has established effective plans for managing post-consumer sharps and medications that include an ongoing promotion and education strategy for consumers and retail pharmacies that began in March 2013. HPSA has also untaken the first ever review of the voluntary retail pharmacy collection network to promote awareness of program requirements, to encourage more pharmacies to register and to ensure material from industrial, commercial and institutional generators is not entering the post-consumer collection network.
Similar needle and medication collection programs were previously administered by Stewardship Ontario under the Waste Diversion Act and funded by Ontario taxpayers.
Readers can read an article on the stewardship program on page 12 of the August/September edition of Solid Waste & Recycling magazine.Visit www.solidwastemag.com