How do pharmaceutical substances enter the Baltic Sea and what can we do about it?
There are different entry paths for pharmaceutical substances. While veterinary drugs enter soil and groundwater via the usage of manure from mass livestock production, human drugs enter surface waters from households and hospitals through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
The MORPHEUS project wants to reduce the emissions of pharmaceutical substances from human consumption by:
a) making recommendations for suitable treatment technologies in WWTPs and
b) raising the awareness among consumers and give advice how to dispose of unused and expired medicines correctly.
Recent studies revealed that there is a quite high percentage of people disposing of their unused medicines via the sink and toilets. Some because they don’t know how to dispose of it correctly, some even because they want to give a clean glass bottle to the recycling process (ISOE, 2013).
Unfortunately there is no common strategy or take-back system in the EU. The recommendations for a correct disposal of unused/expired medicines therefore varies from country to country or even within a country.
Dispose of unused/expired medicines correctly, in: