Many of us are taking small steps to reduce our plastic consumption: switching to reusable bags for grocery shopping, avoiding plastic-wrapped vegetables for bulk vegetables, and ditching coffee cups and bottles. disposable water.
But sometimes it’s impossible to avoid plastic – even, it turns out, when you take a prescription.
Angry Boots customers told the BBC they were “livid” to receive their medication in plastic prescription bags rather than paper.
Speaking to Twitter, one person said they would no longer buy their drugs with Boots due to the decision to issue some plastic prescriptions. Another claimed that using plastic was a “cost-cutting exercise” for the chain.
Another person pointed out that it’s not just Boots that distributes the drugs in plastic bags and said Lloyds Pharmacy, another leading chain, does it too.
So why are they using plastic? Boots said in a statement that the majority of his prescriptions are in paper bags – but some repeat prescriptions are being processed and packaged off-site and placed in machine-sealed plastic bags to prevent drugs from falling out of the box. bag during transport.
The company – which signed an industrial pact last year to reduce the use of plastic – also said plastic was more sustainable. We asked if plastic bags are a new addition, but the company hasn’t confirmed that.
HuffPost has contacted Lloyds Pharmacy and the company said it has an automated system that assembles repeat prescriptions in a central location before they are sent back to LloydsPharmacy stores for distribution. He said the bags were made from recycled materials.
“The system is continually being evaluated and developed, for example to assess any environmental impact … but our overriding concern is patient safety,” said a spokesperson. “The paper bags are used in our community pharmacies for all other prescriptions. “
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a statement from Lloyds Pharmacy.