14 Mar 2014

Ecology effects of Medicines

Ho Ting Raymond Chow writes:*

As we heard from the news that saying those people from the poor country or third country were lack of supplies and medication support in order to survive, but does anyone aware of things like medicines could also environmentally harming our life cycle? What does medicine do to our environment actually? As the population of mankind growth, the alder in each countries also growing too. Medicines like painkillers, birth control pills or those tablets that most people bought have been sitting at home for years and no one will aware it is expired until they actually need it!

I am one of these people who aware and heard from the news that the medicines we dispose is not properly and eventually harm our ecological and environmental economics. Although B.C. had an industries called British Columbia Medications Return Program (BCMRP) which collects the medicines to prevent abuse, accidental ingestion or even keep them away from the wrong hands, but how many of us know where we return the medicine to? Really? Many of us just throw them to the garbage bin and let it go. Does anyone know where these pills in the garbage goes? As I heard from the news, some countries dispose these pills in the ocean. These medicines eventually were absolved by the ocean specie which changes their life cycle. The fishes we catch are no longer being normal and pure. We suffer from what we have disposed. We are living in a one planet and I know it’s costly if we don’t do something about it just like the global warming. What the world needs to do is how to tell people to be engage to recycle the medicines and dispose them properly just like a spaceship earth model.

Bottom Line: Medicine could be harmful to our ecological and environmental economics if our people do not treat it carefully such as return it to a proper place once the pills expired. As the Chinese says; “the water could float a boat but could also sink the boat.”

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.

1 comment:

#0119# said...

I am impressed by your ideas, and it takes into my concern that those pills and tablets can be a problem. I believe it is common to the majority of families which dispose a lot of pills and tablets throughout the year.

But I still believe that this proposal can not be taken properly even the government agent or non-profitit taking it with enough care and attention. The way to handle those medicines would primarily based upon either trash classification and recycling program or those recycling box specially for medications.

The first one, trash classification program has been applied and adapted by many countries including Japan. But it has not yet been accepted by the majority of countries. The reasons are mainly due to the complexity and the cost of this action. If we add another category ‘Medicines’ to the existing classification, it would be make this issue even more complicated.

The second approach, the specific dispose and recycling location has already been used on batteries, which to my best understanding till now, is not successful. People are still disposing the batteries to the trash bin, as they always do.

In conclusion, the idea is good, but it is not easy to handle.

HW #0119#

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