How to make greener choices: Things to look for in the Product Lifecycle

Making greener choices can help reduce your ecological footprint, and it is especially important to consider the lifecycle of the products you purchase. Single use disposable products have the shortest lifecycle but many products support a circular economy. This includes re-usable, rechargeable, re-cyclable and biodegradable products. Here are some other ways to help make more mindful choices.

Recycled Content – Using recycled materials in manufacturing can reduce energy use and impacts on ecosystems.

Organic Ingredients – For food, textiles and other plant-based products, organic production can reduce the need for fossil-fuel-based fertilizers and is easier on ecosystems.

Ingredients of Concern – This is especially important for products that go in, on or around us. Ingredients such as BPA, benzene, formaldehyde, parabens, polyethylene glycol, toluene and others are found in everyday products. Companies that make better alternatives will also generally post ALL product ingredients on their websites.

The Environmental Working Group has a great online resource for researching personal care ingredients.

Renewable Energy – Look for products made in facilities powered by renewables such as wind and solar.

Local Production – Products produced closer to home require less shipping, and profits from locally-owned businesses tend to have better community impacts.

Packaging: Reduced / Recycled / Recyclable – Look for packaging that uses recycled materials and can be recycled. The most recyclable plastics are #1, #2, #4 and #5. (Avoid #6, #7 or packages with no number)

Buy Durable, Buy Less – A product designed to last longer is better than one that needs to be replaced every year. Quality counts.

Products designed to Operate ‘Greener’ – The use of a product has its footprint, too.

  • Consider buying rechargeable batteries.
  • Pick up a power bar that lets you completely shut off energy-using appliances.
  • Look for new reusable options in categories like menstrual products.
  • Choose reusable options like Tupperware, over single-use plastics.
  • Use a cold-water laundry detergent.
  • Choose LED light bulbs.

Every choice can make a positive difference.

The Circular Economy is one model designed to minimize waste and environmental impact.

Buy from a ‘Green’ Company

Today’s shareholders are looking for companies that care about the climate and the environment. Many corporations are implementing broad and meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plans, covering everything from carbon footprint to diversity and inclusion initiatives. (See B Corporation here) Visit a company’s website and look for their CSR or Sustainability section. (Example: You can also look for companies that contribute to social and environmental causes, such as 1% For the Planet.

As a consumer, when you support companies who are trying to do it better, it’s a win for the whole planet.

Stay positive and keep making those small changes.

Nobody can be a perfect sustainable shopper, but every effort counts. Make a difference where you can, but don’t feel bad if some of your favourite products aren’t as green as you would like…yet. And if you would like them to do better, let them know.

Battery Recycling at London Drugs

London Drugs has won the Call2Recycle® 2021 Leader in Sustainability Award for our customers returning over 62,000kg of batteries for recycling.

Every year, millions of batteries are used in everything from toys to tech. But if those batteries are just thrown away and end up in landfills, toxic materials they contain can harm wildlife and the environment. That’s why Call2Recycle and London Drugs work hard to collect as many batteries as possible for responsible recycling.

Thanks to YOU, our customers, we have kept a HUGE amount of batteries out of the environment. In 2020, the pandemic challenged our recycling collection systems, but in 2021, you bounced back, bringing in 62,570kg of batteries to London Drugs stores across Western Canada. That’s about as heavy as 30 average passenger cars!

The Leader in Sustainability Award is granted each year to organizations that display exceptional commitment to battery recycling. “Each year, Canadians recycle more and more of their used batteries with Call2Recycle thanks to the exceptional partnership of organizations like London Drugs,” said Joe Zenobio, President of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. “With your customers’ support, we have been able to achieve record collection targets year after year, helping to protect wildlife, the environment and our communities by keeping toxic metals out of landfill.”

What kind of household batteries can you recycle at London Drugs?

Almost all types of single use and rechargeable batteries from household products can be returned, including alkaline and lithium AAA, AA, C and D-cells, 9V and button batteries. We also accept dry-cell rechargeable batteries up to 5kg such as the ones found in cordless phones, laptops, and cameras, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) types. (We cannot accept vehicle batteries, or rechargeable batteries from tools or other larger appliances) Just make sure you tape the terminals, or store each battery in its own bag. For more information on safe battery storage and recycling click here:

What happens to recycled batteries?

The metals and elements in batteries are reclaimed through industrial processing with partners such as Retriev, located in Trail, BC. Depending on battery type, the raw materials are used in products such as golf clubs, silverware, pots & pans and new batteries.

Help us celebrate National Battery Day – Feb 18, 2022 – by bringing in even more batteries for recycling!

London Drugs Stores No Longer Accepting Recycling

**Update: We have resumed our recycling collection.
London Drugs in-store recycling services will no longer be accepting customer recycling at our stores until further notice. Our top priority continues to be to focus on our customers and ensure that our staff and customers remain healthy and safe. We look forward to resuming recycling services when circumstances allow. In the meantime, please contact your municipal waste disposal and recycling facilities for their updates on recycling availability developments in your area.

5 Steps to Reduce Waste at Home

Tips to Reduce Waste at Home

Canadians generate an astonishing amount of waste. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians generated 10.2 million tonnes of disposable waste in 2016, roughly 3.5 tonnes per person, which is about the weight of an elephant. Greenpeace Canada reports that 3.25 million tonnes of that is plastic waste.

We can make a vital ecological contribution by reducing waste, recycling as much as possible, and supporting sustainable brands.

Here are five simple steps for reducing waste at home that will help you shrink your carbon footprint.

1. Level up Your Recycling

We’re all pretty used to recycling old standards like paper and bottles, but did you know there are so many other items you can recycle — everything from electronics to printer cartridges, headphones, cellphones, water filters, styrofoam, and the list goes on!

Our Bring Back the Pack recycling program makes it easy to recycle many types of product packaging, too. In fact, when you shop at London Drugs, you can leave all of your product packaging with us and we’ll ensure as much of it as possible gets recycled. Check out our website for the complete list of what’s accepted.

Pro tip: A beautiful recycling area in your home will make recycling that much more enjoyable!

2. Reduce Your Energy Usage

Doing an energy audit of your home might sound intimidating, but it can help you to identify areas where easy improvements can be made. 

Look for things like air leaks around windows and door frames, old appliances that aren’t energy efficient or that can be unplugged when not in use, and light bulbs that can be switched with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.

You can also replace old thermostats with programmable thermostats and set timers to warm up the main rooms for a few hours in the morning and bedrooms for a few hours in the evening. This will soften your impact on the grid and also on your wallet!

3. Compost, Compost, Compost

Composting is now widely supported through many municipalities, which makes it easy to participate. But it’s also beneficial to set up a raw compost for your own garden. Put any cooked food, bones, or leftovers in the city bins, as they tend to attract unwanted visitors.

Small countertop bins are great for vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grounds that your veggie garden will love! 

4. Reduce Your Single-use Plastics Consumption

Single-use plastics are one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution today — think plastic bags, straws, coffee cup lids, zip-style bags, etc. Take a day to observe your daily habits and notice where you might be able to swap out a reusable container for single-use packaging.

For example, head off to school/work with drinks and snacks in a stylish reusable travel mug and handy washable fabric snack bags.

Reusables can also contribute to better health. For example, the SodaStream soda maker with recyclable carbonation cartridges not only saves plastic bottles but also gives you an endless supply of refreshing sugar-free drinks. Pair your healthy drinks with these washable silicone straws.

5. Support Sustainable Brands

There is no shortage of inspiring companies creating great products while taking care of the environment. The circular economy model supports designs that are optimized to be disassembled and reused, essentially designing out waste. From toilet tissue made from recycled paper, to printer paper made from sugar cane byproducts, these companies are doing their utmost to reduce their impact on the biosphere.

Many of these products are also lovely to use: natural makeup, whole grain cereals, healing teas, and healthy granola bars are easy ways to do good not only for the planet but also for your body.

Modern life inevitably produces waste, but with a bit of effort and some conscious choices, we can make steps toward reducing our waste at home. Shifting our habits a little bit every day adds up to greater peace of mind and a cleaner, brighter future.

London Drugs Recycles 1 Million Pounds of Plastic

London Drugs tallies an important metric in 2018: one million pounds of plastic recycled. Plastic bag use by customers also dropped 75 per cent over two-year period.

London Drugs recycles 12 million pounds of wasteThanks to you and to robust recycling processes and partners, together we diverted 12 million pounds of waste from landfills in 2018, including one-million pounds of plastic recycled.

Customers are more mindful now than ever about their plastic bag use, with a 75 per cent reduction in plastic bags being used in our stores compared to bag use totals from 2016.

“Our updated plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, and additional material recycling statistics is a culmination of several initiatives London Drugs has undertaken in our stores, head office and distribution centre and just as important is a nod to our customers for bringing in these materials for proper recycling instead of throwing them in the garbage and having them end up in our landfills,” says Raman Johal, London Drugs Retail Operations Sustainability Specialist.

We accept recycling in all of our London Drugs locations across Western Canada and we have Recycling Centres in 39 stores, making it convenient for customers to recycle everything from batteries to styrofoam, small appliances, and more.

In 2018, London Drugs achieved an average 93.5 per cent waste diversion in its stores.

Since initiating new plastic bag reduction measures, London Drugs saw plastic bag use by customers decrease by 75.1 per cent since 2016.

Mason recycles at London DrugsThrough this continued commitment to recycling, plastic and waste reduction, a young customer has come forward with similar environmental goals who is going to great lengths to promote plastic reduction.

Mason is an eleven-year-old Lower Mainland boy and the creator of Mason’s Ocean. Mason has been using social media to share important information about the oceans and how everyday recycling actions can significantly reduce our impact on the environment. Mason and his mother regularly use the London Drugs recycling centre to responsibly reduce waste.

“London Drugs is a company that is leading by example by providing easy and accessible recycling bins to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfills and oceans,” says Mason, founder of Mason’s Ocean.

Learn more about London Drugs’ recycling efforts and what we take back.

Meet the 11-year-old Boy Who Will Inspire You to Dive Deeper into Recycling

Mason is only in grade 5, but he is already having a big impact on the planet with his passionate website and social media project called Mason’s Ocean. He (and his mom) are also committed London Drugs recyclers.

Bringing Mason’s Story to the Screen

As a BC-based company, London Drugs is passionate about reducing waste to help benefit our oceans and all the communities we serve. For Earth Month, the London Drugs What’s the Green Deal video team travelled to the Vancouver Aquarium to help Mason share his story.

“When I was eight years old and I watched the film Sharkwater, it was then that I realized I had to start helping the ocean,” Mason says. He posts frequently on his Mason’s Ocean Facebook page and Instagram feed with interesting ocean and animal facts and tips on how people can make a difference with their own actions. We see how Mason puts his heart into saving the world’s oceans, while dealing with a little heart trouble of his own.

Heart Surgery and Healing

In 2018, 11-year-old Mason faced a challenge when he and his family discovered he had a heart condition — a narrowing of the aorta. He underwent heart surgery at BC Children’s Hospital and returned stronger than ever.

“When I started feeling better,” Mason says, “ I decided I should keep on posting and spreading the great news of recycling.”

#BePlasticWise — A Global Recycling Challenge

Lately, Mason has become more focused on the issue of ocean plastic and helping his family to reduce their waste. He visits the Vancouver Aquarium (an Ocean Wise initiative) and stays on top of the issues through its Plastic Wise program. Mason shares the importance of recycling against a backdrop of spectacular marine environments and amazing ocean plastic education exhibits – including Douglas Copeland’s stunning ‘Vortex’ display.

11-year-old Mason recycles at London Drugs

London Drugs is Mason’s Local Recycling Solution

Mason and his mom combine their waste recycling with household shopping trips to London Drugs. From plastic bags to batteries, light bulbs and more, it’s a convenient way to responsibly reduce waste. It also marks a real point of difference in the retail industry. Mason’s mom, Shanna, appreciates the service.

“If I can shop at a local, Canadian-owned company, and know that the company is taking the initiative to recycle their products, then yes!” she says, “I will make the choice to make my purchase dollars count, and I will go to London Drugs.”

11-year-old Mason advocates for clean oceans

When We #RecycleTogether, the Results Add Up

In 2018, London Drugs and its customers diverted over 11,000,000 lbs of materials from landfill. It’s all part of our commitment to a more sustainable retail future.

Mason’s future plans include getting a PhD in marine biology and maybe studying environmental law. “I want to change the laws in favour of the oceans,” he says.

We can’t wait to see what you accomplish, Mason – you are the REAL Green Deal.

Your local London Drugs takes batteries, electronics, small appliances, soft plastics, Styrofoam, and more. For the complete list of what you can recycle, visit

You can follow Mason’s journey on his Facebook and his Instagram channels.

Why We Recycle These 5 Things (and More)

You can recycle a lot of things at London Drugs, from batteries to small appliances to smoke alarms. But just in case you sometimes ask yourself WHY you bother recycling, here’s a look at five things we take back that really should never be thrown away and the most important reasons for that.


Why you should recycle them: data security

It’s tempting when cleaning out the closets to just chuck that old doorstop of a computer into the alley or dumpster. (Maybe SOMEBODY will want it?) Well, somebody might — and they may have less than noble plans for your data. It’s very hard to completely erase digital memory, so data-carrying devices may have personal information on them that can be retrieved.

That’s why London Drugs’ computer recycling takes extreme care to track data-carrying devices and destroy the hard drives before they leave our stores. Our recycling partners also have security measures and ALL of our electronics are broken down into materials here in Canada before being shipped anywhere else. Got an old computer, PDA, or cellphone? Recycle them with us.


Why you should recycle them: chemical recovery

Besides stored electrons, batteries also contain complex compounds that can be harmful to the environment. Fortunately, many of these materials are also valuable enough to recover for use in remanufacturing.

Lithium, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, and zinc are some of the elements that are recovered from battery recycling. These are not good to have in our landfills or waterways. So drop your batteries off at London Drugs (here’s what will happen to them). We take rechargeables, alkalines, button batteries, and specialty electronics batteries (under 5 lbs).

Light Bulbs

Why you should recycle them: Mercury

According to one study, one gram of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake.

Many fluorescent-type light bulbs contain traces of mercury, so it’s a good idea to keep them out of our ecosystems. We take compact fluorescents (CLFs), LEDs, even Christmas lights and fluorescent tubes up to 48”. Just be sure to avoid bulb breakage while recycling. Seal the bulbs in a zip bag and put them in a box.

Soft Plastic Bags and Overwrap

Why you should recycle them: To help keep our rivers and oceans clean

If you can stretch soft plastic or poke your finger through it, you can recycle it at any London Drugs. Plastic bags, overwrap, and stretch film are accepted at all of our stores. This plastic is also easily blown out of garbage containers, trucks, and even landfills, which means it may end up in rivers or oceans. The soft kind of plastic is very recyclable and is made into things like park benches and plastic deck lumber. (Crinklies and other flexible packaging are recyclable at our BC stores.)


Why you should recycle it: To use up less landfill space and avoid plastic ‘crumbs’ in the environment

Styrofoam, or ‘Expanded Polystyrene’, is actually a very recyclable material. Our recycler partners take the air out of it, condensing the foam down until it is virtually solid plastic. Then it is sold on commodities markets to be remanufactured into picture frames, mouldings, and more.

The list goes on and on. See everything you can (and should) recycle at London Drugs. Do the right thing (it feels good!)

Next Page »