How can I reuse or recycle … tablet blister packs?

blister_pack.jpgJohn pulled a muscle in his neck last weekend so has been sucking down ibuprofen tablets all this week.

Like the powdered baby milk containers, the blister packs are mixed materials – plastic for the “blisters” and foil underneath – does anyone know if they can be recycled?

Or anyone clever reuses for the blister bits? They’re so small – and without a “lid” once the foil has been popped – that I can’t imagine there would be many uses but I hate to think of anything as lacking a reuse. So suggestions?

(Photo by Vincitrice)

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46 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … tablet blister packs?”

  1. marco says:

    this is a tough one, can i suggest if you are ever making a scale model of a DALEK from Doctor Who they would be ideal for the outer casing :)

    • Annie says:

      that made me think, you could donate them as craft materials to a primary school/ playgroup?

      • Mary says:

        school might not take them because of previous contents contamination. I know!!! it’s taking things a bit far,but they refuse toilet paper inner cardboard rolls near us, but they will take kitchen roll middles.

    • Penguin says:

      Actually, I’m making a papier-mache bowl at the moment, and sticking strips from blister packs around it (well, everywhere but the base). I’m going to paint it and give it to my boyfriend as a Dalek-themed bowl! (We’re both ‘Who-crazy, although him more so than I.)

    • Lizzy says:


  2. Jeff says:

    Tear all the foil off and use the wells to hold paint when painting with oil/watercolors.

  3. gem says:

    a mould for mini chocolate buttons or drops

  4. gem says:

    use it as a mould for chocolate drops or mini chocolate buttons

  5. Fishcake_Random says:

    you can make some funky plastic braclets. cut into one long strip and decorate the bubbles or put a single bead etc in each one.put some good ole electric tape over the back to seal it. and attach a piece of thread through a hole each end and tie or use a clasp from some broken jewellery.

  6. Katz says:

    If you cut out each blister with 2-4mm extra then they become a perfect acessory for card making. Pop a little bid or a lentil inside, stick it to the card – and there you have rolling eyes for any creature you may wish to draw or glue onto the card!

  7. Sunil Makwana says:

    well it is a major problem to recycle this blister but if you can separate the foil and the plastic then it is of great value. You can separate the foil and plastic and sell it at a very good value for recycling . May be you can earn a fortune with it.There are always buyers ready to buy plastic scrap and aluminium scrap.Think about it if anyone can crack it it will solve a major plastic waste problem.

    • roberto says:

      The foil and the plastic can be separated by milling the blister down to 0,5mm particles (micronizing). How can you saparate it then, without destroying one of them?

  8. June says:

    Take them back to the chemist’s shop by the bagful and ask them to get pharmaceutical companies to think of something better.

  9. Anonymous says:

    put it on the inside of a rattle or rainmaker and it would help to make a louder noise?

  10. renee says:

    I’ve used them for print making to get some interesting effects. place them under some heavy books for a few days till they flatten a bit, coat with paint and apply to paper. you can make some funky wrapping paper this way.

  11. roberto says:

    Can you indicate someone who can separate aluminum and pvc in a micronized (particles around 0,5mm)mixture?

  12. Becky says:

    I used to fill them with fruit juice and freeze them. They’re like little frozen sweets. Only really works with the larger ones.

  13. sunny says:

    make a solution of castic soda in water and dip blister pack into it for some time, castic will burn alumunium and u will left with platic for reuse. it can bwe done on commercial scale.

    • julian price says:

      Caustic soda is a really dangerous chemical. It causes more harm to the environment than the blisterpack itself. The blister packs could make a good sculpture all about peoples health and how we live on tablets. Good art prize winner

  14. tablets says:

    Dear friend.
    Recycling of tablets blister is a good Idia.
    i will like to write in brife
    tablets foil is made up of aluminium foil and pvc or pvdc,
    We have to collect these blisters
    melt them
    filter it when it is hot and separate aluminium
    you can recycle aluminium thus obtained and pvc mass thus separated
    i am a scientist working on HIV AIDS vaccine
    now you find me
    who is me

    • David says:

      Hi. I am an epileptic and take my medication (as advised by my GP morning and evening.
      I would be very grateful if you could let me know what I should do with my used tablet blister packs as I like removing as much foil from them as possible before inserting the foil into an aluminum can or scrunch it up before putting it with my other recyclables. Can I send the batches back to the manufacturers for recycling as it seems a waste to bin them. Yesterday I watched a video how they’re recycled.
      Thank you so much.
      David (Trim)

  15. Rohit Joshi says:

    I have technology for seperating Aluminium and PVC.Generally the Aluminium % is 15%.If any one is interested can transfer the technology at a price.Contact me at

  16. Green gas Man says:

    Surfing for an answer to exactly this…. my dad (retired chemist) (not dispensing but smelting) always said to send the whole used pack with the poil, because the process detailed above will separate the Al from the pvc.
    For myself, using such fingernails as I have, I find it most therapeutic to peel as much of the aluminium off as I can, put in clean foil (sheet or washed takeaway container) and – unfortunately – bin the remaining plastic.
    This household does *use* a lot of prescription drugs, and therefore we store the used packs by our hdpe box, and have a separation binge every 10-14 days. Ideally we always purchase generic pills in hdpe pots.

  17. glasnost says:

    Well Done! I Like it!

  18. septic dude says:

    great for inserting tablets

  19. Lenka says:

    Maybe someone mentioned this before, but another idea. When I was in the primary school, we used them to make googly eyes. We would paint something on firm paper (like a fruit or a funny face), drew everything on it except for the eyes. Then we separated two little “dishes” – I have no idea how you call it8), but left some of the plastic around it intact. We put the aluminium away (from the dish only), put a lentil or a small bead inside and glued it to the face we colored. I know someone might say it is dangerous because of the medicines and it is sharp and stuff, but come on, nothing ever happened to us!

  20. zahid says:

    We are master in this process. first we purchase this material than we extrude the aluminum from the pvc foil with our unique machine. Now we get two things 1. aluminum 2. pvc.
    now we melt the aluminum and make it bricks and sell out. than by the remaining pvc, we recycle it than we process it from our very own technique and than we make pvc conduit pipe from the same material….

    zahid khan
    zoya industries

  21. Nancy S. Webb says:

    I’ve used them to organize my jewelry (they are especially useful for earrings), and small items like push pins, screws.

    Also I cut the textured sections, with or without the foil backing, into shapes (hearts & stars) to use in cardmaking; it would also work for scrapbooking. I suppose you could cut a “frame” for a small photo, etc.

  22. Sulaiman Meghjani says:

    Dear Zahid Khan,

    We are interested in saperating the blister pack into aluminium and PVC.Please send your e-mail.our emailis sulaimanmeghjani AT yahoo DOT com

  23. Rohit says:

    Hello I need a machine which it can separate aluminum & pvc. Machine

  24. Roberto Alonso Pacheco Maldonado says:

    In Colombia (South America), we are currently developing a viable separate aluminum pvc system and found two efficient processes level tests have been successful. We hope to start the construction phase of machinery and process this month.We obtain clean aluminum on one side and the other clean pvc. Our email is:
    Alonso Pacheco

    • Ray says:

      I’m interested in developing depression system aluminium and Pvc please contact me for further business developing
      Ray karbor
      0031642430052 mobile and wattsup

  25. Saleem says:

    I need your technolagy or mission plz contact me 00923343956774

  26. Jen says:

    I use those plastic containers to organise my weekly tablet supply, otherwise I forget to take them. It is easier to remove the foil before you pop the pills out individually.
    Of course, this method depends on you having another plastic container for your tablets, so it will only be better for the environment if you are a long time user of your medication.

  27. Brijesh G Borad says:

    I need daily 5 tons of used blister pack strips of tablets or capsule.
    Can anybody help me out ?

  28. k.choudhary says:

    I have small Qty of blister packs of Tablets being generated regularly. .Is there any collectors/recyclers who can take. any body

  29. SANDIP Vora says:

    Dear sir,
    You have machinery or just method??
    If you have machinery pls give me quotation of it.
    And production per hour of this machine.
    Our company is interested in it
    My number is +919686000139

  30. Anonymous says:

    I remove the silver foil from the tablet sachet and then insert the foil into an aluminium can. I (believe it or not) add my tablet sachets with my other bag of plastic. Then I deposit them in the cage of plastic wrappings and cardboard outside my local Tesco nearby. All of them are taken by the delivery drivers for recycling.

  31. Zahid says:

    Burning aluminum than u r loosing profit. Although the qty of aluminum is not more than 20% but the price is three times expensive than pvc.
    We r expert in separating both of them by almost 99% by our own technique, without casting soda or any harmful material.

    Pl vist our site for further details


    i am also thinking about a project that how to recyle or reuse waste medical blisters. i heard that the aluminium can be speretaed from medical blisters there is a machine for seperating aluminum and pvc from waste blisters.
    if anyone know about its more pls inform me

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