Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and University of Illinois Extension

Chapter 4: Materials for Public Outreach and Education

In order to decrease the environmental and health risks posed by disposal of medicines, public education materials can be useful to raise awareness and promote action. These materials must present the issue in clear language geared toward the average consumer and propose alternative disposal methods that are both safe and convenient.

The following documents are examples of outreach materials that have been developed by local, state, and national programs regarding medicine disposal. Similar informational materials could be distributed at collection events, pharmacies, conferences, etc. You can use and adapt any of the materials here as models for your own outreach campaign. All are presented here in .pdf format; in some cases other formats may be available from the original authors.

Because there is not yet a definitive national guidance on this issue, various localities are dealing with this issue in different ways. Therefore, some of these documents may contradict one another or may not be applicable in your area. They are presented here as samples of the work that has been done, and do not necessarily represent the trajectory this issue will follow in the future.


Prescription for Safety: How to Dispose of Unwanted Medicine This brochure provides tips on how to properly use, store and dispose of expired or unwanted medications. It was developed by IISG, on behalf of the National Sea Grant Office, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Description of a drop-off program at a hospital in Ohio (print 3 to a page, back to back, for a trifold brochure)

California postcard alerting citizens to the issue (English and Spanish versions)

Indiana-Illinois Sea Grant's informational brochure (print back to back for a trifold brochure)

Radio spot promoting medicine collection at Sangamon County's HHW collection event (MP3 audio file)

Brochure from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Disposal guidelines from Florida's Department of Environmental Protection

Posters describing a collection program run by the Earth Keeper organization in Michigan

Information from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (print back to back for a trifold brochure)

SWANCC Prescription Drug and Sharps Disposal Program in northern Illinois (trifold)

Wisconsin Medicine Collection Day post cards for a collection event

Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program examples of billboards, medicine drop-boxes, songs, and videos

Pharmacy flyer developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Macon County take-back program brochure

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