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Lloydspharmacy dispensing hubs to use 100% recyclable bags

Lloydspharmacy's automated dispensing hubs use over six million prescription bags a year
Lloydspharmacy's automated dispensing hubs use over six million prescription bags a year

All prescription bags used by Lloydspharmacy's automated dispensing hubs in Bristol, Ruislip and Warrington will be 100% recyclable from January 2020, the multiple has said.

The “over six million” bags processed annually by these hubs will be made from green plastic, which consists of 85% sugarcane and 15% plastic, rather than traditional plastic, the multiple said yesterday (November 14).

This is part of Lloydspharmacy parent company McKesson UK’s “commitment to improving its environmental impact and reducing its carbon footprint”, it said.

The sugarcane compound “is equally as robust as traditional plastic”, the company said, and “there will be no detriment to the quality or condition in which patients receive their medication”.

At the time of publication, Lloydspharmacy was unable to provide C+D with an image of the new dispensing bags.

The announcement comes five months after Boots announced its rollout of unbleached paper dispensing bags in 53 branches in a drive to improve sustainability.

Increase in costs

McKesson UK supply chain director Ashley Cowen said: “Although it represents an increase in cost for us, we believe that it is the right thing to do to help us take better care of our planet.”

The company “carefully considered all options” and decided that the sugarcane prescription bags are “the best solution” to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment, “without compromising quality or risking product safety”.

McKesson UK “still has more to do” to become more environmentally friendly, Mr Cowen said, and is “continually working with colleagues, partners and customers” to further reduce its impact.

What do you make of Lloydspharmacy's efforts to become more environmentally friendly?

geoffrey gardener, Community pharmacist

"improving its environmental impact and reducing its carbon footprint" if they are so concerned, why dont they just encourage their customers to support their local pharmacy, instead of being shipped hundreds of miles from some faceless warehouse?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

What are the environmental costs of running several pharmacies, compared to one?

Cod Fillet, Community pharmacist

Only if that would be the answer. Still unnecessary plastic being generated in huge amounts. 

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

So, Lloydspharmacy are to supply your metformin in bags made from sugercane! Oh, the irony!!

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Sweet Irony. Especially if you get ferrous sulphate in there as well! 

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