Exploring Chemists' Own Blister Pack Recycling Program

December 7, 2023
5 min read

Exploring Chemists' Own Blister Pack Recycling Program

Blister packs, commonly used for medications and other small consumer items, present a recycling challenge due to their mixed materials of plastics, foils, and paper. Recognizing this issue, Chemists' Own has collaborated with TerraCycle to launch Australia's first free recycling program for household blister pack waste, addressing a significant environmental concern.

The Recycling Challenge of Blister Packs

Blister packs, made of various plastics and foils, cannot be recycled through standard kerbside bins. They accumulate as plastic waste, contributing significantly to landfill where they take hundreds of years to decompose​​. A TerraCycle survey highlighted that blister packs top the list of items Australians wished to recycle, with 40% of respondents seeking a solution for this type of waste​​.

The Chemists' Own and TerraCycle Initiative

Chemists’ Own, in partnership with TerraCycle, allows Australians to drop off empty blister packs at participating pharmacies for recycling​​. Currently, 49 stores across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland participate, with plans to expand​​.

The number of participating stores makes this initiative the second largest in Australia when compared to Pharmacycle's blister pack recycling program with 330+ locations across the country.

How Does the Program Work?


Participation in the Chemists' Own Blister Pack Recycling Program is straightforward and free, thanks to the sponsorship by Chemists' Own and the partnership with participating pharmacies​​.

Accepted Items

The program accepts all brands of used or empty medicinal blister packs. However, it does not accept blister packs that still contain tablets or capsules or their outer cardboard packaging, which can be recycled through local councils​​.

Recycling Process

While it is not stated whether recycling occurs in Australia, TerraCycle mentions that once collected, the blister packs are separated into their constituent materials—aluminum and plastics. The metals and aluminum are shredded and smelted into metal sheeting, ingots, or bar stock. Plastics undergo size reduction, melting, and reformation into pellets, flakes, or powder​​.

Environmental Impact

This initiative by Chemists' Own and TerraCycle represents a significant step towards sustainable waste management. By providing a recycling solution for blister packs, the program helps reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste ending up in landfills, thereby contributing to environmental conservation efforts.

Other blister pack recycling initiatives

The Chemists' Own Blister Pack Recycling Program, in collaboration with TerraCycle, is an innovative and practical solution to a long-standing waste problem. However, larger blister pack recycling initiatives such as Pharmacycle, that recycle material in Australia, can offer more affordable and transparent solutions.

Australia's only complete blister pack recycling solution
1800 344 003

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.