Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship

Spilled pill bottles and needle container

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Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship

Unwanted and improperly managed pharmaceutical drugs and home-generated sharps waste present significant public health, safety, and environmental problems at the end of their useful lives. These include negative impacts to water quality, sanitation, and solid waste, hazards for recycling workers, and increased potential for accidental poisonings and abuse by persons for which the medication was not intended.

California was the first state in the nation to pass a stewardship law for both pharmaceuticals and home-generated sharps waste.

The Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program (Public Resources Code (PRC) sections 42030-42036.4) established industry-run statewide pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste stewardship program(s) to require safe and convenient disposal options for pharmaceutical drugs and home-generated sharps waste.

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