Old Prescription Bottles - What Do You Do with Them?

Updated on April 14, 2012
L.N. asks from West Liberty, IA
14 answers

Just curious - my daughter and I both have prescriptions we take every month. The bottles have our names, address, the name of the medication, the prescription number, the pharmacy, etc., on them. So I've been trying to black out that information with a permanent marker and then throwing them in the trash. What do all you mamas do with your old prescription bottles?

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answers from Houston on

Peel the sticker off the plastic bottle. Throw sticker in the trash. Throw the plastic bottle in the recycle bin.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I remove and shred or cut up the labels and toss the bottles. By the way, I h have heard and read that one should not reuse old prescription bottles to hold other other items, even after washing them; the plastic can absorb stuff. My father-in-law uses old camera film containers (the small round plastic kind -- remember when cameras actually needed rolls of film?!) to hold his daily pill doses and I'm trying to get him to stop, having been told by a doctor that that's even worse--chemicals from the film get into the plastic container itself.

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answers from Cleveland on

I just toss them in the trash... I have to give birth dates to get them filled & pick them up. Plus, my pharmacy staff knows us, so I don't think they would give them to anyone else.

But why is your address on the bottles? Ours have our names, medication name (both generic & name brand), script #, pharmacy info (name, address, & number) and the Doc's info (name & phone #). But without our birthday dates - no one can use them. And even if they call the doc office or the pharmacy... if they give out info without my approval - they can be sued for breach of HIPPA & possibly loss they rights to provide service.

Plus, if someone is willing to dig through the nasty a** trash to find my pill bottles - more power to them. They can dig through all the poopy diapers, rotten food, and all the other nasty stuff - just to find pill bottles that can't do anything for them but stop a few allergy symptoms, thin blood or reduce inflammation cause the "good" bottles don't have refills - you need a new script every month.

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answers from Raleigh on

Rip off the label and recycle the bottle.

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answers from Dallas on

hmm, add that to the list of stuff I never gave much thought to before, but apparently was doing wrong!

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answers from Washington DC on

I peel the labels off and toss them generally. We keep a couple around for when we travel (I don't like to take our whole bottles if we still have a month left, but also don't like Rx just floating around in a baggie or something).

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answers from Seattle on

Peel and recycle

If peeling is too time consuming soak in water first

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Keep a rew and punch a small hole in the middle and put my used sewing machine needles in it. I will then take it to the hospital to dispose of the needles safely.

Use for buttons, pins, or craft items (depending on bottle size).

Remove the lable as best you can and then black out.

The rest I would recycle.

The other S.


answers from Dallas on

I just throw it away.

We rarely have an RX at my house so it is not that big of a deal to me. I do a lot of shredding with personal and business info.

If you are that nervous about it, get a shredder.



answers from New York on

peel the label off, rip it up and throw the bottle in the garbage
when my mom throws out bottle she leaves the label on but colors over all the info with a black sharpie and then throws it out



answers from Des Moines on

I just throw them away, unless they're the ones that are the PERFECT size for holding quarters for the laundromat....


answers from Milwaukee on

wow - I never thought to peel or black off the info. I just toss in the trash. Not sure if I am going to go through the trouble though, I am just not that paranoid. I was thinking today at what a waste it was to toss so many of those. To bad you can't recycle them.



answers from Omaha on

I take a large amounts of meds a month. I peel the labels off and shred them into itty bitty little pieces. I shred with a shredder the information that comes with each script each time. The bottles are too numerous to use really so I just throw them away or offer them up on freecycle. Alot of people actually take me up on them. They are great to store beads, sequins, crafting supplies in general in.



answers from Springfield on

Our local pharmacy will shred them for free & then they recycle the plastic

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