Disposing of Unwanted Medicines

Guideline For Consumers: Wrap and Trash

Natural resource managers and others are concerned about the disposal of unwanted prescription drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements and personal care products (lotions, sprays, etc.).

Previously, consumers were encouraged to dispose of these products by “flushing” them down the sink or toilet. However, the U.S. Geological Survey recently determined that 80 percent of the watersheds sampled in the U.S. contained low levels of at least one type of pharmaceutical chemical.

There are two simple steps consumers can take to protect water quality: wrap and trash unused medications and personal care products per local solid waste guidelines. Do not flush!

Michigan Sea Grant is working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and other organizations to communicate to the public the importance of safely disposing of medications and personal care products to protect water quality.

Educational Materials