Recycle Old Medicine Bottles 💊: In this blog, we discuss whether or not you can recycle your old medicine bottles. We present you with the best options you can do to deal your old, expired medicines. Continue reading this blog to learn more. 


Medicine has been here already for a long time – way before any of us here alive were even born. Think about the herbs and remedies invented in Oriental Asia long ago. However, the modern, pharmaceutical medicine which we can get today to relieve plenty of our illnesses first treaded this earth to help people in 1804.

Friedrich Sertürner, a German scientist, invented it by extracting main active chemical from opium in his laboratory and later labelled it as morphine, coined after the Greek God of sleep. Through the continuous persistence and research of humans to fight off all kinds of illnesses and diseases, we now have all sorts of medicine available.

You can get some medicines OTC (over the counter) whilst others you can only get with a doctor’s prescription. Medicines come in all kinds of containers, but the most common are bottles.

As this is, of course, a waste management blog site, we cannot give you too much details about medicines. However, we do want to discuss medicine containers’ recyclability – specifically, medicine bottles. Now, we ask you this question: can you recycle old medicine bottles?

In this blog, we determine whether or not you can easily recycle your old medicine bottles. As a bonus, we will also take a look at options you can choose from should you have expired medicine. Read on to learn more.

Short answer: yes, you can recycle old medicine bottles. We highly encourage you to do so.

– Mr Waster


Waster provides readily-available recycling solutions for small and medium Aussie businesses

Before we take you further into the discussion and determine whether or not you can recycle your old medicine bottles and what you should do with old, expired medicines, we want to share Waster with you.

Who is Waster? Why do plenty consider it as one of the best waste and recycling companies in Australia?

>Download Now: Free PDF Business Owners Guide To Medical Waste Bin Services

Simply put, Waster provides you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. In addition to that, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves a better choice nowadays.

Click on the blue button below to learn more.

READ: How To Recycle Or Compost Dairy Products 🐮 


Now, can you recycle your old medicine bottles?

What should you do with your old medicine bottles cluttered in your cabinets? Plenty, unfortunately, do not really know what to do with them. They do not really know how if they can recycle old medicine bottles, much less how they can go and recycle them. We are here to cure (pun totally unintended) that!

Are old medicine bottles recyclable? Before answering this question, do take note that medicine bottles are made from #5 plastic or polypropylene –a type of plastic. Now, onto the answer below.

The answer is yes for many areas – you can indeed recycle your old medicine bottles as we can safely label polypropylene as recyclable plastic. So, you do not need to put them in your general waste bin. You just have to remember a few pointers and follow some conditions before placing them in your recycling bin.

Although, you should take note that not all areas accept medicine bottles, based on our answer above. You still have to consult first with your local council and make sure that they do accept them.


How to recycle old medicine bottles (along with the medicine itself)

First, make sure to clear the medicine bottles of any of its contents. Do not – I repeat – do not flush the medicine down the toilet! Unfortunately, some do flush the medicine (usually old, expired medicines) down the toilet. There is a proper way to deal with expired medicine. We state below:


Dealing with expired medicines

Firstly, you can just collect them and place them in your rubbish bin as most medicines, even if expired and mixed with other rubbish, does not cause any environmental damage.

If you do not want to throw them in the rubbish, then you also have the option of contacting pharmacies that can take them off your hands. Called the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project, this national scheme in Australia urges you to go to your local pharmacy and give the medicines back to them so they can safely dispose of them. Take note that they will never reuse or recycle them.

Why should you dispose of expired medicines in the rubbish bin or give them back to your local pharmacy? The answer to that is because expired medicines are a household hazard and have the potential of greatly compromising an individual’s health when consumed being reached by children, which will result in poisoning.

Continuation of medicine bottle recycling

Once you empty the bottle the correct way, then you should remove the label by peeling it off. Make sure no excess paper is left behind so the recycling process would not be compromised once it goes into the facility.

Remove the medicine bottle cap, as well. However, before doing that, contact your local council first and ask. Some local councils may prefer the bottle caps to be left on. If not, then ask if they have any bottle cap recycling programs. They might instruct you to place the bottle caps on your general waste bin instead, but at least you asked, right?

If you follow these instructions carefully, rest assured that you can easily have your medicine bottles recycled.

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Contact Waster right now for your waste and recycling needs now!

Does your Australian-based business need waste and recycling services? If so, then you have come to the right web page!

Please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837).  You can also email us at if you have any further questions. Find the best deals in terms of waste and recycling pricing and services!