The GSCF’s Charter for Environmentally Sustainable Self Care aims to reduce the environmental impact of self care products while continuing to prioritise safety and access to effective medicines.
The charter focuses on three priority areas where the consumer healthcare industry can have the greatest impact and influence: plastics and packaging, pharmaceuticals in the environment and the industry’s carbon dioxide footprint.
Among the companies whose own pledges feature in the charter are PAGB members GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.
As the UK trade association representing the manufacturers of branded over-the-counter medicines, self care medical devices and food supplements, PAGB commits in the GSCF charter to:
– support the UK consumer healthcare industry to drive environmentally sustainable self care;
– work to promote the importance of the pharmacy take-back scheme as the correct way to dispose of out-of-date or unused medicines in the UK, to avoid the risk of environmental contamination through inappropriate discarding of products (for example in drains);
– continue to support members with implementation of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax, the proposed Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme and other relevant initiatives.
In addition, PAGB says it will work to reduce its own CO2 footprint by working with suppliers and updating its policies to minimise the use of energy, water and natural resources as well as minimising waste through prevention, re-use and recycling where possible.
Michelle Riddalls, CEO of PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, said:
“Our health, our healthcare and our environment are inextricably linked.
“The consumer healthcare industry has a crucial role to play in supporting people to self care – something which helps to protect NHS resources for those who are most in need, while also improving outcomes and reducing health inequalities.
“At the same time, we recognise that the healthcare industry is tied to processes, systems and materials that can have a detrimental impact on the environment.
“PAGB is fully committed to supporting its members to implement more sustainable alternatives wherever possible, at the same time as ensuring that over-the-counter medicines remain accessible for all those who need them to self care.
“We are also working towards minimising our own environmental footprint at PAGB.”
Judy Stenmark, Director General at GSCF, said:
“Voluntary and proactive action across the consumer health industry is essential to find urgent, sustainable solutions to also address the sector’s environmental impact.
“That’s why I am very pleased to see the charter come to fruition at a time when we are truly seeing a collective global movement from business to address sustainability, both through making tangible commitments and delivering on them. The charter provides an ambitious platform for all our members globally to drive innovation in sustainability.”