This weekend, Marsh Supermarkets will sponsor its spring “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet” event at all Marsh and MainStreet Market pharmacies in Indiana.
“Offering a safe and convenient way to dispose of medicines that are old or no longer needed is an important service that Marsh and our partners can provide to help protect families and our environment,” said Joe Kelley, Marsh chairman, CEO and president. “The number of people participating in the Marsh ‘Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet’ event has tripled since the program began in 2008. In the past four years, we have helped more than 7,300 Hoosiers safely dispose of nearly 104,000 containers of unwanted medicines.”
The semiannual free event, held each spring and fall, encourages people to appropriately dispose of unwanted or expired medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements, veterinary medications and sharps or needles.
“Aside from securely storing medicines, one of the best things that families can do to lower the risk of an accidental poisoning, especially among children and the elderly, is to keep in their homes only those medicines that are required in the quantity that is needed,” said Barbara Cole, a public health educator and Coordinator for Poison Prevention with the Indiana Poison Center. “Stockpiling medications only increases the odds that a child, family member or pet may accidentally ingest them.”
The Marsh “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet” event aims not only to reduce the risk of accidental poisoning but also to protect the environment and prevent pollution.
“Wastewater facilities are not designed to remove many pharmaceutical chemicals. As a result, these chemicals can be discharged into our streams and lakes through treated wastewater,” said Thomas Easterly, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “While it may not seem harmful to flush a few pills down the toilet or drain, if every expired or unwanted medicine in every household in Indiana were discarded in this way, the collective impact on our waterways and environment would be problematic.”