top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Unused medicine turned into energy

The French have been handing in their leftover pharmaceutical drugs in recycling initiative

It is a problem: doctors prescribe medicine, but it is only available in a certain amount - such as a packet of 12 pills when all that was need was 10, for example. This means waste is inevitable. 

Thanks to a new initiative however, the issue is being tackled in France with people returning their leftover medicine and prescriptions to pharmacies.

In total, 11,884 tonnes of medicine was handed in to pharmacies last year. Collected by the wholesale distributors, the medicine is then incinerated and converted into energy, with enough power generated to heat the equivalent of 7,000 homes last year.

The organisation behind the scheme is called Cyclamed.

A study by the institute BVA revealed 79% of French people report returning their unused medicine to the pharmacist. Ninety-three per cent cite their reasons as environmental, as the scheme provides an alternative to the medicine from being thrown away and then contaminating the environment. Safety reasons followed closely behind, with 90% of people wanting to avoid the risk of medicine being taken accidentally in the home.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now