Every year millions of people in the United States take home prescription medication in small little bottles. If you’ve ever had any medication you probably know exactly what the pills look like, and just how wasteful they can be. The good news is that there is finally a way to put those bottles to use, a small charity actually started the program almost a year ago and it has been hugely successful; all they do is send donated prescription bottles to Africa to be reused. Rather than millions of bottles being used once and thrown away, many are now being sent to Africa to be reused for their intended purpose.
The best type of recycling is the kind that doesn’t require any remanufacturing and that is exactly what makes this charity effort so successful. The donated pill bottles are cleaned, wrappers are removed, and then they are simply sent to be reused. Millions of people had been taking various medicines and pills home without proper protection or packaging in many African countries simply because there was no solution available, by sending the bottles to be reused this problem has largely been overcome. The Malawi Project started out as a small effort but now, after a year of collection and work, they’re bringing in almost enough bottles to supply every region of Africa.
The impact this has made in medical treatment in Africa is almost unmeasurable. No longer are people carrying pills in the open, with no protection, or worrying about where to store them. Pill bottles might seem like a very small contribution to make but doctors say it has had an absolutely incredible effect in the area. Even better news is the fact that nearly everyone in Africa is willing to reuse the bottles that have been provided, so once enough bottles have been accumulated there will be little need for more to be sent. Over 2 million people have received recycled pill bottles in Africa and doctors are nothing but happy with the results.
No word on what is next for the Malawi Project, but the overwhelming success of this program is just the starting point. The group says they hope to come up with another great recycling or support program to keep their Africa support team busy, and they’ve already got a couple of good programs under development.