Clalit goes green by collecting expired medications

Hundreds of containers for collecting out-of-date, unused medications are being installed in Clalit clinics around the country.

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February 10, 2010 23:40
1 minute read.
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clalit container. (photo credit: .)

 
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Hundreds of green-and-blue containers for collecting out-of-date, unused medications are being installed in Clalit Health Services’ clinics around the country, to dispose of them safely and protect the environment.

The containers will eventually be present in hundreds of clinics.

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Health fund logistics chief Gadi Cohen said he hoped the containers would improve awareness in the community of the need to protect the environment. When drugs are placed in ordinary garbage cans and dumped, they can leech into underground water aquifers and return in the drinking water. Many people just throw unneeded or obsolete medications down the toilet, but they cause harm this way as well.

The proper disposal of drugs is also intended to encourage the public to check the expiry dates of their medications and eliminate them via the containers and protect their health, as when used after expiry, they can cause harm to health. In addition, drugs that are no longer needed should be kept out of the house so they do not reach children.

Antibiotics, steroids and hormones can affect the poultry, fruits and vegetables we eat, said Cohen. Two years ago, the largest health fund started to use paper bags for products sold and to adopt solar energy for various purposes.

The Health Ministry has not required all the health funds to collect unused and outdated medications.

So far, the printed explanations on Clalit’s collection containers appear only in Hebrew. Clalit promised to place information material and stickers on the containers in other languages as well. Asked by The Jerusalem Post if it would collect spent batteries as well, the health fund said it would be considered.

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