Sustainability of Pharmaceutical and Cosmeceutical Products within Dermatology

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Vidya Madhwapathi
Charlotte Woodley


The extent of packaging materials used in topical dermatological products and the sustainability of these are not well known. It is a known fact, however, that individual dermatology departments prescribe or recommend these dermatological products to patients. This study aims to evaluate current practice in terms of how many dermatological products distributed to patients are recyclable, by assessing whether the topical treatments available within a dermatology department display a Mobius loop or equivalent – thus indicating that a product and its packaging may be recycled. Our results show that a low proportion of the assessed items displays any indication of their recycling potential, therefore adding to unnecessary waste. Raising awareness, promoting sustainability from grassroots levels within dermatology departments and empowering patients to adopt recycling practices enable dermatology as a specialty to encourage pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical companies supplying these products to support ethical recycling values in all medical fields.

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Letter to the Editor