Pill Bottle Shredding: What to Do With Old Bottles



With over 70% of Americans using prescription medications, the amount of pill bottles used each day in the US is staggering. To efficiently manage the private information contained on prescription medication packaging, you must streamline safe disposal processes.

Watch the video or read the transcript below to find out the best and safest way to dispose of your old, expired, empty, or unused pill bottles.

Video Transcript

Why Shred Pill Bottles?

The labels on pill bottles contain enough information about you to pose the same risks as having paper medical records stolen.

As a result it’s important to ensure that you also shred pill bottles, as it benefits not only security but efficiency and legal compliance as well.

Boosting Security With Bottle Shredding

The label of a pill bottle doesn’t provide an entire medical history, but there still is enough PHI to do various other forms of damage.

To reduce the risk of past bottles being found by a dumpster diver, pill bottle shredding is used to destroy both the label and bottle as a whole—just like shredding paper.

Simplify Disposal by Shredding Bottles

One by One

While labels can be peeled off, the drawback is the time it takes to remove each individual label and throw the bottle away.

All At Once

With pill bottle shredding, an entire box or container of pill bottles can be shredded at once.

HIPAA complianceHIPAA Compliant PHI Disposal

Protecting the PHI on the labels of pill bottles isn’t just a good way to prevent security breaches, it’s also legally required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

If sensitive information was ever stolen from the bottle’s label, HIPAA noncompliance penalties can range upwards of 6-digits or even mean jail time—making it crucial that bottles are safely disposed.

How to Prepare for Pill Bottle Shredding

Before having old pill bottles shredded, there are a few steps to take first such as separating bottles from other materials and emptying their contents.

Separate Shredding Materials

It’s important to separate bottles from papers because paper shreds need to be recycled individually and can’t be recycled with other materials due to their small size.

If paper shreds are mixed in they’ll instead be disposed of in a landfill, which isn’t just unsustainable but can also cost more as well.

Empty All Pill Bottles

After separating, it’s important to empty bottles before shredding because if any medication is left, it will be shredded and the dust it creates can be dangerous for those exposed to it.

Instead, before shredding bottles visit a CVS, Walgreens, or other nearby pharmacy who accepts unused medication so you can ensure safe bottle disposal.

Shred Prescription Pill BottlesHave Old Pill Bottles to Shred?

Join the Red Cross, CVS, and other organizations and individuals we’ve helped find the best pill bottle shredding options to meet their needs.

Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out our form to be connected to our nation wide network of shredding professionals, and get free quotes on the quick and safe destruction of your old pill bottles.