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Biodiversity, water and natural resource management

Green Talks LIVE: Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine

 

The OECD Green Talks Live webinar series brings experts together to discuss pressing environmental issues. For a global audience, these free webinars are open to the general public and participants are welcome to pose questions during the Q&A segment. Video recordings of our Green Talks are made available online afterwards.

Register for an upcoming webinar or watch the video recordings of our past webinars below.

video replay: management of pharmaceutical househoLD WASTE

Pharmaceutical household waste from expired or unused medicine does not only offer zero therapeutic benefit, but also contributes to environmental pollution when disposed of via improper routes. Medicines discarded in sinks and flushed down toilets enter sewage waters and, if not filtered out, leak into aquatic systems. Disposal of unused and expired medicines via solid household waste can also result in pharmaceutical residues entering the environment if this waste is illegally dumped, or destined for landfills. In addition to environmental risks, unused or expired medicine not only present a possible public health risk of accidental or intentional misuse and poisoning, but also constitute wasted healthcare resources.

Where do OECD countries stand on consumption and disposal of pharmaceuticals? What is the role for policy makers and how can collection schemes help to prevent, collect and treat unused and expired medicines to protect human health and our environment? 

On 10 May 2022, experts explored these questions and more during the launch of the OECD report on Management of Pharmaceutical Household Waste: Limiting Environmental Impacts of Unused or Expired Medicine. This report provides an overview of available data on pharmaceutical consumption and disposal practices across OECD countries, reviews existing collection schemes and provides recommendations to avoid leakage into the environment.

The webinar included a presentation of the key findings and discussion with experts:

  • Moderation: Shardul Agrawala, Head of the Environment and Economic Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate
  • Presentation of report: Frithjof Laubinger, Environmental Economist, OECD Environment Directorate

Panellists:

  • Terri Drover, Director General, Health Products Stewardship Association
  • Lisa Stern Ödmark, Chief Strategist, Swedish Pharmacy Association

  • Discussion/Q&A, with Peter Borkey, Circular Economy Lead, OECD Environment Directorate


Watch the video replay
/ Access the presentation

 

VIDEO REPLAY - launch of the Global Plastics Outlook - economic drivers, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND POLICY OPTIONS

While plastics are extremely useful materials for modern society, plastics production and waste generation continue to increase with worsening environmental impacts despite international, national and local policy responses, as well as industry commitments.

How can government policies respond to the urgent need to help make the lifecycle of plastics more circular? How can the expansion of national policies and improved international co-operation help mitigate environmental impacts all along the value chain?

On 22 February 2022, our experts explored these questions during the launch of the Global Plastics Outlook: Economic Drivers, Environmental Impacts and Policy Options. This Outlook is the first report to comprehensively take stock of current plastics production, use and waste generation, uncover the underlying economic drivers and map the related environmental impacts on a global level. The report intends to help decision-makers understand the direction in which we are heading and assess which policies can support a more sustainable and circular management of plastic materials.

The webinar included a presentation of the key findings and four key levers that are essential to bend the plastics curve: markets for recycled (secondary) plastics, technological innovation in plastics, domestic policy measures and international co-operation, including international financing.

  • Opening remarks: Rodolfo Lacy, Director of OECD Environment Directorate
  • Panel Moderation: Ingrid Barnsley, Deputy Director of OECD Environment Directorate
  • Presentation of the report: Shardul Agrawala, Head of the Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate
  • Panellist: Prof. Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
  • Panellist: Miranda Schnitger, Government Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Discussion, together with Peter Borkey, Maarten Dubois and Elisa Lanzi, Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate

 

Watch the video replay / Access the presentation (PPT)

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