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Lithuania: “ Pollution of medicines – where to put them??“

Vilnius Jesuit High School

by Jolanta Jaksiene, science teacher of 10-11 year olds

Almost all of us have expired and unused medicines in our homes. How to correctly remove  outdated medicines from our home? Most people throw away expired or unused medicines in the household trash.

Prof. Viktoras Masevičius of Vilnius university Faculty of Chemistry claims that due to improper sorting of medicines, antibiotics can be found in the landfill and are dangerous for the environment. According to the professor, the breakdown of antibiotics affects the emergence of incurable diseases because of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, plastic packaging of medical products pollutes the environment. We are able to change that! Return any expired and unused medicines to pharmacy!

5th grade students made the research by investigating what is the correct way to remove expired medicines from their homes. The students listening to a pharmacist who shared information about removal of medicines, and provided  numbers and facts. The students found out that in 2020 more than 80 million medicine packaging were sold, it is more than 3000 t medicines. However, only 14 tonnes  were returned back to pharmacy. These facts led students to ask community, what people are doing with expired or unused medicine? Students found out that more than half respondents throw away medicines into household trash and haven’t  realized to do something else.

A drawn comiv of a little dog sitting in front of its hut, where a human throws away an old medication jar. The dog eats it and dies. The last image is a gravestone..

Agne Ralyte‘s comic

Students decided that social TV, radio or social networks should advertise the returning medicines to pharmacies. People are missing information about harm caused by discarded medicines.

Students made educational video and shared it with community (Pollution of medicine MP4 file).

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