Help, My Life, Tips & Tricks

Empty Pill Bottles Desperately Needed (Take your meds & help others!)

Pill bottles: those translucent orange soldiers that pile up all around us… in our drawers, cabinets, shelves… sometimes I wonder, if I had saved every empty pill bottle since I got sick could I build a small house by now?
Mountains of Pill Bottles
One thing I have always hated the most about being sick, is how you often need more help than you can give back. I’d see those specials on TV and think: I want to build a Habitat for Humanity house or dig wells in Africa with Oprah! (this might be an insomnia induced thought, but the general sentiment still stands).

Okay, so I can’t dig a hole in the blazing African sun. There are still a lot of ways to help others. Like this, this is a project with an idea so simple, it’s brilliant. I’ve tried this myself so I can vouch for how easy it is to do and how good it feels to pass on something that is trash to you, but will be a treasure to others…

Imagine you’ve walked miles to a remote village hospital to receive any form of medical care you can find.  You are given the medication you desperately needed and now you have to start the journey back home (often many miles).  You don’t shake the pill bottle maraca as you walk because there is no pill bottle, (there was barely medicine).  The pills bought in impoverished areas are often bought in huge quantities, in large jars, and doled out (if you’re lucky) wrapped in a tiny scrap of newspaper.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal at first. But the more I thought about it the more I realized: beyond the thought of just getting the medication home, what keeps the meds from swelling up from moisture by day 5? What keeps kids from getting into them? Or their getting lost? Those orange bottles that seem to accumulate so easily for us, can actually do more than you think for others…


How to Help:

Step 1:
When you finish your meds, save the bottle!  This includes bottles you might receive over the counter like for Advil, Motrin, vitamin bottles, supplements – as long as the bottles aren’t too (Large bottles just cost too much to ship).

Step 2:
Follow the instructions for preparing the bottles

Step 3:
Throw the bottles in a box or manila envelope, when you have enough of them, mail it off!

The bottles are not wasted in anyway. Once the meds are finished, the families often use the bottles in 100 other ways (just think of how helpful it could be to have a container with a lid that seals). And if the bottle you send isn’t able to be used, it will be recycled.

The New Organization is called:
Matthew 25: Ministries
11060 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242

Note: I have nothing to do with this organization. They state they are an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization helping the poorest of the poor, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally regardless of race, creed or political persuasion across the US and worldwide. They were cited on many sites throughout my research.

Help Animals! You can also try contacting your local animal shelter, vet or animal organization, a lot of them are happy to receive donated pill bottles!

631 thoughts on “Empty Pill Bottles Desperately Needed (Take your meds & help others!)”

  1. I have alot of these pill bottles and have been wondering what I should do with them. I’ve even thought about my niece who is a elementary teacher who could possibly use for a craft idea for her class. I’ve also thought about doing a craft idea myself, but unfortunately I’m not too crafty, wish I was tho. If there’s anyone who could use them, I would gladly give them away.

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    1. UPDATE – DECEMBER 20, 2015 – AFTER REACHING MORE THAN 1 MILLION PILL CONTAINERS THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. The Malawi Project Board of Directors has turned its attention to (1) famine relief, (2) getting medical supplies, including 30 kidney dialysis machines, to Malawi as well as another shipment of over 500 wheelchairs and, (3) gaining the funds from contributors to build a new birthing center south of the capital city of Lilongwe. Thank you for your support of the pill container program and please continue with us on future projects.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, I like this idea. I hate the thought of my pill bottles going in the local landfill to be there 100 years later. I used to know a lady that worked with older people. They used them to store quarters for laundry and all types of things. I don’t have that option any more so I was wondering if this project is still going on. Please let me know at the email below.

    Have a Great Day!
    Greg

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    1. Pill bottles are recyclable. They have a triangle on the bottom of the bottle, just be sure to get the labels off before putting them in a recycle box. Some one on this site has said according to the Malawi Project inc facebook page the project is no longer taking the bottles. Double check their page for updated information.

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  3. I checked the website this ended, but they gave some suggestions such as local animal shelters, they gave an email address for a program on Cincinnati. I may check local senior centers, etc.

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  4. Someone told me it was very expensive to ship the bottles. I have around 200. Who wouls be the cheapest. I put a box out at work

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  5. I’ve sent a lot, I think it’s a great idea. I have another shipment ready. The downfall is the postage. It’s more than I’d like to pay.

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  6. I have been collecting these ever since I saw this post, just over a year ago. I even got my Drs office to help contribute and to this day, we have hundreds of empty bottles. I am going to be sending 3 decent sized box packages this week, and I’m hoping this project is still active and they make it to where they need to be. God Bless who came up with doing this….

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  7. I take possibly a thousand medications in a year! That’s approximately 60 bottles of various shapes and sizes. I’m going to do this soon. What better way to recycle something than to use it to help someone else!!!

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  8. Do they need non-needle syringes? When we were in the hospital with our son he got liquid medicine via feeding tube. The medicine came in plastic syringes, the kind that just had a small plastic opening on the end, not a metal needle. The hospital had to use one per medicine for insurance reasons but we saved them for later use. We ended up being in the hospital for months so we have hundreds of these syringes that only got used once and are washable and good to use again. Our son is doing well enough that we went from 6 medicines to 2 so I think we won’t need them and have been looking for a group that might.

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  9. This project has ended. When you click on the link to find out where To send the bottles it says the project isn’t in existence anymore.

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  10. I clicked on the link from:
    The Malawi Project, Inc.
    3314 Van Tassel Drive
    Indianapolis, IN
    46240
    And the update that was posted on the site is as follows:
    “UPDATE – DECEMBER 20, 2015 – AFTER REACHING MORE THAN 1 MILLION PILL CONTAINERS THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. The Malawi Project Board of Directors has turned its attention to (1) famine relief, (2) getting medical supplies, including 30 kidney dialysis machines, to Malawi as well as another shipment of over 500 wheelchairs and, (3) gaining the funds from contributors to build a new birthing center south of the capital city of Lilongwe. Thank you for your support of the pill container program and please continue with us on future projects.”

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  11. I don’t understand do you need the empty medine bottles or not we were doing this as a Mission Project from our church.
    Please let me know as soon as possible

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    1. Malawi Project stopped collecting them.
      However, Matthew 25 Ministries was collecting them, last I heard. They are located in Cincinnati, I believe.

      Like

  12. The Malawi Project ended 12/2015. I have been collecting mine and have a large number of bottles. I finally decided to send them, but googled it and found out it had ended. I would really like to donate them and continue saving them for anyone that could use them. I’m trying to find a group now.

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    1. send them to:
      Matthew 25: Ministries
      11060 Kenwood Road
      Cincinnati, OH 45242
      Their website is: http://m25m.org
      They have specific instructions for donating and accept more than just the prescription pill bottles.

      Like

    2. Hi there. I’m sorry for the confusion, I am not interested in subscribing to anything, or do I spend time reading and following blogs. I just have a lot of empty pill bottles, and was wondering if you still send them to other countries. I would like to recycle them, but I know that my save from this post is very old. So I was checking before I sent them to the address that I have.

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  14. I saw in an earlier post the address for pill bottle donation is:
    Matthew 25: Ministries
    11060 Kenwood Road
    Cincinnati, OH 45242
    Their website is: http://m25m.org
    They have specific instructions for donating and accept more than just the prescription pill bottles.

    Like

  15. I have been saving my pill bottles FOR MONTHS NOW! I don’t know how much it’s going to cost me but I am on disability so I will have to wait until the 3rd of the month to do it!

    Anyway, thank you for letting me know where they will be useful for other people!!

    Like

  16. ?? What if we put RF (Radio Frequency) Tags on ALL pill bottles, and had everyone toss them into the collective recycling cans for normal recyclables pick-ups, and added robots to the recycling pant, that could us RF Tag detecting devices in their ‘hands’ to pluck all of the secondhand medicine bottles out of the general recyclables, to sort and collect them in various size bins, so that they could ALL be eventually recycled in the medicine industry?

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  17. The Malawi Project can no longer receive, process, and ship empty pill containers to Malawi. This program ended on December 31, 2015. Please send all future collections to alternative sources.

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  18. NOTE: THE PILL CONTAINER PROGRAM HAS ENDED.
    NEW LOCATIONS FOR PILL CONTAINERS
    Indianapolis, IN … Since the Malawi Project ended the collection of prescription pill containers on December 31, 2015 we have sought other organizations accepting pill containers. Here are some suggestions.

    m25m in Cincinnati, Ohio is also collecting pill containers.
    Contact: Joodi Archer, Development and Media Director
    Matthew 25: Ministries
    11060 Kenwood Road
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
    joodi@m25m.org
    Local animal shelters often accept empty pill containers. Contact the nearest facility.
    You might contact and encouragement a local congregation to begin a program similar to what the Malawi Project has conducted. Many churches support missions in third world countries and sending some sort of medical supplies, including pill containers, can be most helpful.
    We hope this helps you to help others around the world. Please stay connected with the Malawi Project for information on other programs being conducted in Malawi.

    We do ask that you place this information on your FACEBOOK, making mention of the fact the Malawi Project ended their pill container program in favor of famine relief on December 31, 2015. Many people are still unaware of this fact.

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  19. Sorry: I meant the photo as an inspiration to find places to donate bottles if you don’t want them for crafts. Local animal shelters sometimes need them. Scribble over data with a Sharpie. You can wrap painters tape over the existing label & write new contents on it for crafts & travel. Maybe a volunteer org will take them for drill bits, etc.

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