London Drugs Resumes Recycling Soft and Flexible Plastics, Beverage Containers and Styrofoam for Customers in BC stores

An image of the London Drugs Recycling Centre identifying items accepted

London Drugs Recycling Centre

RICHMOND, BC, CANADA, August 3, 2020 / -- As British Columbia begins to reopen, another one of the many services suspended due to COVID-19 will now be resuming operations: drop-off customer recycling at all London Drugs locations. In British Columbia, beverage containers, soft plastics, flexible plastics, and Styrofoam will once again be accepted at all BC London Drugs locations.

London Drugs has been a leader in Canada for its waste reduction efforts with a long list of items the retailer will take back for recycling where other entities will not. However; with so many unknowns early on regarding how COVID-19 could spread from surface to surface, and the recycling requiring sorting by hand, the decision was made to suspend London Drugs’ customer recycling program temporarily in March to avoid the risk of community spread. Evidence has now evolved indicating the transmission potential of COVID-19 on surfaces is extremely low, and as such, the recycling program is able to resume.

“Sustainability and recycling have been at the centre of London Drugs’ operations for decades and now customers will again be able to responsibly recycle many items that are difficult to recycle anywhere else,” says Raman Johal, London Drugs Retail Operations Sustainability Specialist. “In this first phase we are limiting items accepted to those originally purchased at our stores, with some exceptions. BC beverage containers, BC soft plastics, BC flexible plastics, and BC Styrofoam will be accepted at all BC London Drugs locations.”

London Drugs is also restricting the quantities of each customer’s daily recycling, and stores may have to temporarily stop accepting materials from time to time. These changes come as the London Drugs teams work to ensure the safety and wellness of our store environment, staff and customers.

In the past couple of years, as more people have become aware of London Drugs’ robust recycling program, stores have become a major recycling spot for other retailer’s cardboard, Styrofoam, packaging etc.

“We encourage other retailers to introduce ways for customers to be able to bring back packaging and recycling to where their original purchases were made,” adds Johal.

Understandably during COVID-19, B.C. residents have been saving up and storing items that cannot go into their regular household recycling bins. London Drugs’ recycling program reopening will come as a relief for many British Columbians, who have been holding onto items like batteries and lightbulbs. An increase in online shopping and package delivery in B.C. during the pandemic has also resulted in large amounts of recyclable packaging piling up in households.

“We know our customers have been diligently collecting their hard-to-recycle packaging and items at home over the past few months, and we are now pleased to be able to accept those items originally purchased at our stores while at first we are limiting quantities of each customer’s daily recycling,” says Johal. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we resume operations, while continuing to ensure the safety and wellness of our store environment, staff and customers.”

Customers can recycle the following items (with quantity limits below) originally
purchased at London Drugs:
• Soft plastics – Plastic bags, shopping bags, etc.
• Styrofoam
• Beverage containers
• Electronics
• Appliances
• Ink and toner
• Batteries
• Light bulbs
• Smoke alarms
• BRITA filters
• Medications
• Flexible plastics* – Chip bags, candy bar wrappers, Ziploc bags, etc. (*BC only)

Recycling Quantity Limits (per person per day):
• Plastics and Styrofoam – 1 grocery size bag of each
• Beverage containers – 24 containers
• Electronics and Appliances – 1 large item or 3 smaller items
• Batteries – 1 Ziploc or similar size bag
• Light bulbs – Several light bulbs
• Smoke alarms – Several alarms
• BRITA filters – Several filters
• Medications – 1 Ziploc or similar size bag

For a complete list of items accepted, quantity limits and restrictions visit:

“As with other industries, COVID-19 has presented challenges for waste diversion efforts. While we continue to grapple with this, it’s important we do what we can to support sustainability, so we do not lose the ground we have gained in our waste diversion efforts,” says Johal.
With the help of customers and staff, last year London Drugs achieved an overall 93% waste diversion rate, with more than 12 million pounds of waste diverted from city landfills across Western Canada.

For more information about London Drugs’ sustainability initiatives or more information about what can be recycled at stores, visit

As a major Canadian retailer, London Drugs is part of the communities we serve. We know we have a part to play in helping make our world more sustainable. ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is our commitment to continue searching for better, greener ways to do business, and to help our customers find answers. We address sustainability through a four-pillar approach: Energy & Operations, Waste Reduction, Upstream Purchasing and Communication & Education. And we will keep asking the tough questions and looking for answers, because sustainability is a journey, not a destination. @WTGreenDeal

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 82 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

Cynnamon Schreinert
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