Blog Post

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), recently added a section on recycling stock pharmaceutical bottles to their guide on recycling grocery rigid plastics. The guide encourages grocery stores to recycle their primary rigid plastics: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP). The guide was developed with assistance from the American Chemistry Council, and includes data gathered from pilot projects conducted at Hannaford and Stop and Shop. The guide discusses the two major types of plastics, methods of separation, and the economic value for each method. The majority of #2 HDPE and #5 PP plastics are generated in the bakery, deli, seafood, and pharmacy departments of grocery stores, and the guide is a great resource for supermarkets to use when setting-up a collection program for diverting these materials from the waste stream.

Resource Recycling, Inc.’s recent article provides an overview of the APR guide’s new section on recycling stock pharmaceutical bottles. Stock bottles are the containers pharmacies receive medications in, before they are packaged and prescribed for patients. APR suggests that pharmacy staff set up separate collection bins for stock bottles and caps, because the container is a #2 HDPE and the cap #5 PP. Rigid plastics can be delivered directly to a local recycling company or back-hauled to a distribution location. The annual savings on disposal for a supermarket chain running approximately one hundred small pharmacies could be as much as $10,000.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and food waste diversion. The RecyclingWorks website includes material and business sector specific guidance documents. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at