Do you know the consequences for the environment of misusing your medications? Pills, cough syrups, eye drops, deodorants, and even our cosmetics can be harmful pollutants for the planet. And not only do they contaminate, but when a person consumes an expired remedy, it can cause allergies, bacterial resistance, and even the death of those who ingest it.
On the other hand, when we throw our medicines down the drain or simply throw them away, the components of the medicines contaminate the water, the soil, and the air. This can affect the growth of plants and, if consumed by animals, can lead to their death. Furthermore, if these drugs are found by irresponsible people, they could be reused or sold clandestinely, which would irreparably affect people who buy these drugs.
Similarly, when household cosmetic products are not properly disposed of, these, upon reaching the landfill, could contaminate groundwater and end up with entire ecosystems. An example of this may be lipsticks. According to research by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, it was found that about a third of lipstick-producing brands exceed the maximum level of plumb allowed in these products. On the other hand, liquid wastes such as ethyl alcohol and acetone or nail polish removers are considered dangerously toxic wastes, not only because of how harmful their chemical substances can be, but they are also highly flammable, so the risk of causing a fire is imminent.
Over time, we have looked for homemade ways to get rid of this type of waste, some throw them in the toilet, others mix them with soil and put them together in a Ziploc bag so that no one else can ingest them. However, the only correct way to dispose of expired medications is by taking them to the specified collection points so that trained people can dispose of them.
Fortunately in Peru, the Ministry of the Environment has an organ that is specifically dedicated to the disposal of medicines, this is the DIGEMID, whose initials mean (in Spanish) the General Directorate of Medicines, Supplies, and Drugs.
This organism usually carries out campaigns to collect counterfeit, expired, and cosmetic medicines under the same conditions. This in order to remove them from the reach of people who may market them in the future and also avoid contamination due to their bad disposition.
Since last year, DIGEMID provided a lot of collection points that are available to the Peruvian public so that we can leave expired and unusable medicines in the home throughout the year. In Lima, we have 58 centers, clinics, and pharmacies, that have disused medicine and cosmetic collectors to dispose of them correctly. These we can also find in all the provinces of Peru.
To see the detailed information of the centers in Peru click here.