Rtn Nicole Larter, Director for Environment & Sustainability introduced PP Lisa McCosh from the Rotary Club of Warrnambool Daybreak to speak about the Medical Blister-pack Recycling Trial Program, a joint initiative of the four Rotary Clubs in Warrnambool, supported by a $5,000 Community Development Grant from Warrnambool City Council.
At present, millions of used packs go to landfill. The plan is to collect the used packs and send them to a company in Sydney, Pharmacycle, which has developed a process for separating the plastic from the foil and bulk packing the separated items to other companies which can use them.
The $5,000 has been used to obtain six collection boxes which have been placed at
            Direct Chemist at Target                                                Soulsby & Struth
            Direct Chemist at Northpoint                                         Archie Graham Centre
            Infinity (formerly Artz & Kaye)                                        Anchor Point Village
as well as 20 large boxes for freighting the collected items to Pharmacycle in Sydney who organise the collection. While waiting dispatch, the boxes are being stored by Rtn Tony Davies (RCWC).
The environment Chairs from the four clubs are meeting regularly, and have a meeting with D.9780 Environment & Sustainability Chair Barbara Sheehan in a few weeks’ time.
The following reflects Lisa’s comments and is taken from the Pharmacycle website, which is acknowledged.
“Collected blister packs are transported to our processing facility located in Sydney.
Each box or bag received at our processing facility is checked in and weighed allowing us to track and report on performance across our network of public drop off locations and participating organisations.
Once weights have been recorded, the contents of full boxes/bags are emptied onto a sorting table for a visual quality control check.
Any contamination, such as residual medication still in packaging, paperboard packaging, or non-accepted packaging is removed and managed accordingly (recycled where possible). Any residual medication that is identified is removed and placed in a sealed container, which when full is sent to an appropriately licenced facility for disposal.
The empty blister packs are then put through a series of mechanical recycling processes to separate the aluminium foil/seal from the plastic blister. The steps include shredding, grinding, air-density separation, and finally electrostatic separation.
Once separated the aluminium and plastic material is kept in bulk bags until enough material is ready to be sent to end-users.”
Nicole thanked Lisa for her presentation and indicated that her $30 would go to Mosswood.