CRD Launches Medications Return Campaign “What You Put Down the Drain Matters!”

Apr 27, 2017

Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) is launching a new medications return awareness campaign to promote the proper disposal of medications at pharmacies and to prevent medications from reaching our natural environment.

“When medication goes down the drain, it eventually ends up in the ocean, where it can negatively affect the marine environment,” said Ginette Vanasse, Executive Director of the Canadian Health Product Stewardship Association. “So, what you put down the drain really matters.”

Since 2008, the CRD Regional Source Control Program, in collaboration with the Health Products Stewardship Association, Island Health, and pharmacists throughout the region, has been actively informing the public about the BC Medications Return Program (BCMRP), what types of medications can be returned, and how to properly return them.

“Medication return is so important. Incorrectly disposed medication can affect the health of marine wildlife, but it also can affect the health of humans in direct and indirect ways,” said Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Dee Hoyano. “Unused, old or expired medications are a safety hazard for both children and adults when left in the home, and are a common cause of poisoning. Antibiotic resistance is also a concern, because we share one ecosystem with other animals. There are many reasons to dispose of medications correctly and safely.”

The Capital Region has one of the highest medications return rates in British Columbia. Awareness of the BCMRP increased from 30% (2007 survey) to 66% (2011 survey) and 11,300 kilograms of medications were collected from residents in the CRD in 2015. According to the CRD 2015 Pollution Prevention Survey, however, residents were asked about their Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCP) disposal practices and awareness of the BCMRP, approximately 30% of residents in all age groups above 35, and 70% of residents between the ages of 18 – 34 have a low awareness of the BCMRP.

About the BC Medications Return Program:
The British Columbia Medications Return Program (BCMRP) covers the costs associated with the responsible disposal of health products returned by the public through collection sites. The products covered under this program include:

  • All prescription drugs,
  • Over-the-counter Medications, and
  • Natural Health Products in oral dosage form

For more information on the BC Medications Return Program, please visit

About the CRD’s Regional Source Control Program:
The Regional Source Control Program (RSCP) is an initiative under the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan (CALWMP) and Saanich Peninsula Liquid Waste Management Plan (SPLWMP) that is dedicated to protecting the marine environment and sewage infrastructure by reducing the amount of contaminants that enter the regional district’s sewer system. Regional source control outreach campaigns inform residents on how to protect our environment through proper disposal of four types of contaminants: medications; surfactants; fats, oils, and grease (FOG); and household hazardous waste (e.g. cleaners and solvents).

For more information, please visit

The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at



For media inquiries, please contact:
Britt-Marie Phaneuf, Communications Supervisor
CRD, Environmental Services
Tel: 250.360.3287
Cell: 250.818.1489