Locum pharmacist, Niall Barnwell, founded Enviropharm on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite launching a business on the eve of a global pandemic, Enviropharm has gone from strength to strength. Today Niall has summarised how the last 18 months have been and what he plans to do next:
-The company was initially focussing on reducing plastic waste with a particular focus on pill packs/blister packs as these are a significant contributor to plastic waste in the retail pharmacy sector
-We started to pilot these not too long before the pandemic started
- Trying to get stores to pilot our product and provide constructive feedback was much more difficult than anticipated
- Some stores took on our product. Other stores were to pilot the product with customers but then the pandemic hit. Change was the last thing stores wanted- survival and adapting to the unprecedented situation was paramount.
-We have taken any feedback we got for the pill packs on board
-However, changing the product requires changing the mold which is extremely costly. We are seeing if it is viable to implement these changes. We will only roll the product out properly if there is significant demand.
-Increasing raw material costs combined with an exponential increase in shipping costs have also worked against us with regard to this product in terms of being competitive on pricing
-We introduced our compostable, grip seal bags for dispensing of broken bulk medication in January. These are made of over 50% renewable content and are branded for reuse, or return to pharmacies before composting. We offer bespoke branding also. These have proved popular with pharmacies.
-We supply various franchises, symbol groups and have recently taken on all of Stack's Pharmacies. We also supply pharmacies in the UK and Bermuda.
-Going forward we're looking to grow our customer base whilst addressing wholesale packaging (packaging of fridge lines, ULMs, CD lines, liquids bottled in glass). This is conditional on speaking to the right people in UD and Uniphar and for them to want to change their ways.
-We want to offer a more sustainable alternative to prescription bottles. Cost, barrier properties, tooling costs, and limitations of other polymers have made it difficult to introduce a product that can compete on price and function with standard hard plastic such as HDPE/PP which is what medication vials are typically made of
-Climate change is sadly all over the news recently, and the problem of single-use plastic is on everyone's radar. This is a fitting time for pharmacies to make the inevitable switch to our sustainable packaging and lead the way in implementing change in their communities
GET IN TOUCH WITH US TODAY AND JOIN THE MANY PHARMACIES THAT HAVE SWITCHED TO OUR SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING. CONTACT US BELOW