Tubes Diverted from Trash

Consumer collection efforts drive recycling along with product efficacy.

Neosporin brand has partnered with waste converter TerraCycle to recycle expired antibiotic tubes. On Earth Day, the two companies encouraged consumers to begin collecting these tubes and recycle them by joining one of TerraCycle’s 1000 Neosporin Tube Brigades. These groups collect used packages and send them to TerraCycle for converting into innovative products.

Consumers are encouraged to send expired tubes of Neosporin to TerraCycle for recycling.

According to the Wound Care Diary Study conducted by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. in January 2009, nearly 40% of consumers have an expired tube of topical antibiotic ointment in their medicine cabinet. Neosporin brand urged consumers to check for these expired products and collect them for the Neosporin/TerraCycle program. TerraCycle will pay two cents per tube to the non-profit organization or school of the brigade’s choice. (For more information on joining a brigade visit

“This is the first time TerraCycle has partnered with an over-the-counter medicine,” said Albe Zakes, Vice President, Media Relations, TerraCycle, in a press release. “This partnership presented us with a unique and worthy challenge with dual calls to action that are important to both the Neosporin brand and our organization—first to ensure families are checking the expiration date of their medicines and second to give these families a way to responsibly dispose of the expired or empty tubes.”

Added Carmen Nestares, Senior Brand Manager, Neosporin: “Too many families are keeping expired antibiotics, like Neosporin, in their homes, which may lose efficacy after the expiration date. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with TerraCycle to help keep this important message top of mind in households, and also provide a responsible and family fun opportunity to dispose of expired tubes.”

Brigade collection efforts are ongoing, and TerraCycle accepts a range of branded packaging through what it calls “sponsored waste” initiatives. ■

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