New Brunswick

Reusable glass vials now an option for prescriptions at Bathurst pharmacy

A Bathurst pharmacy is the first in the province to offer customers the option to get their prescriptions in reusable glass vials instead of plastic ones. 

Owner wanted to make an impact on plastic reduction in business as well as at home

Pharmacist Drew McNeill shows one of the glass bottles available from the green vial option at the Pharmasave Bathurst Health Centre in Bathurst. (Gail Harding/CBC)

A Bathurst pharmacy is the first in the province to offer customers the option to get their prescriptions in reusable glass vials instead of plastic ones. 

Pharmasave Bathurst Health Centre made the switch this week after owner Andreas Pohle began looking at ways to reduce the use of plastic at home and be more environmentally friendly.

"All of a sudden, when I was trying to do that it just clicked because I own the pharmacy. It was like, what can I do to make a bigger impact." 

Pohle said the amount of plastic used at the pharmacy is "incredible."

He soon realized there weren't many options out there, but a local physician told him about a pharmacy in Montreal that was using the glass vials. After finding a news article, he contacted a pharmacist who was making use of the green vial option.

"I contacted her and the rest is history. She provided those vials to other pharmacies, so we just contacted her and she helped us with the transition." 

Small one-time charge

Making use of the glass vials will be optional for customers, but Pohle said feedback has been positive so far. 

"It's relatively new, but we've seen a lot of great feedback from people saying it's a good thing. They didn't realize there was an option like that." 

The green vial option is available at the Pharmasave Bathurst Health Centre in Bathurst. (Gail Harding/CBC)

There is a $3 charge for a glass vial, but it is a one-time charge.

"I tell them while it's not mandatory, but you're reducing the amount of plastic vials that are out there and it's reusable so it's not something you have to pay for over and over again when you fill your prescription," Pohle said.

The only gain he wants out of the change is to help reduce the amount of plastic out there.

"There's so much plastic in our oceans, so much plastic in our environment, and it's just trying to do right in trying to reduce that amount." 

While there is no option to recycle glass in New Brunswick, Pohle is hoping there will be someday. He hopes this doesn't deter customers from making the switch.

With files from Shift New Brunswick

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