News Release

April 21, 2011

Walmart Joins Nationwide SMARxT DISPOSAL Partnership

Media Contacts:
USFWS - Valerie Fellows, (703) 358-2285
Walmart - Kory Lundberg, (800) 331-0085

The nation’s largest retailer has joined a national partnership to educate customers about the proper way to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Walmart is the first of 139 supporters to launch a national educational program in over 3,500 of their pharmacies promoting the SMARXT DISPOSALcampaign.  SMARxT DISPOSAL is a partnership, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Pharmacists Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, to inform the public about appropriate disposal of medication and the natural resource benefits of these actions.
 
Flushing medications down the toilet or pouring them down the drain are two of the many ways medications and other substances can enter waterways, which can harm the plants and animals that live there. One way to prevent this from happening is by increasing awareness about proper medication disposal.
 
Walmart has posted signs in more than 3,500 of their pharmacies, as well as online at www.walmart.com, with directions for customers on the proper disposal of their unused medications.   The company will also be printing SMARXT DISPOSAL information on all pharmacy bags so customers can understand how to dispose of unused medicines in an environmentally friendly way.
 
“We are extremely pleased that Walmart has joined us in our campaign to educate people on how they should dispose of their unused medication in their homes,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. “Walmart has millions of customers across the country, and by providing information to each of them, we are sure to have a big impact on preventing chemicals and drugs from reaching our waterways and affecting our plants, animals and ecosystems.”  
 
“Walmart is pleased to be an active corporate supporter of SMARXT DISPOSAL,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, president of Walmart Health and Wellness.  ”Our customers are looking for environmentally friendly ways to dispose of their unused and unwanted medications, and SMARXT DISPOSAL can provide the answers our customers are seeking.  We are proud to be part of this solution and we know that our communities will benefit from this partnership.”
 
The SMARXT DISPOSAL partnership recommends people pour their unused medication into a sealable plastic bag, add kitty litter, sawdust, or coffee grounds, and then seal the plastic bag before disposing of it in the trash. For more information on SMARXT DISPOSAL and how you can properly dispose of unused medicines, please visit http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/index.html.
 
Numerous studies demonstrate that the endocrine systems of certain fish and wildlife have been affected by exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds.  Endocrine disruption can be caused by exposure to synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals including pharmaceuticals, detergents, fragrances, fire retardants, disinfectants, plastics, resins, pesticides, and insect repellants.  The Service, along with its corporate partners, the American Pharmacists Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has taken a proactive role in reducing unused medication and endocrine disrupting compounds in the environment.  Together, we have developed and implemented the SMARXT DISPOSAL campaign to educate the public on the environmental threats posed by flushing medicines or pouring them down the drain and provided them a safer alternative involving disposal of medications in the trash.  The SMARXT DISPOSAL campaign recommendations have been adopted by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
 
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 8,970 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine's 2010 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.comand on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.comand www.samsclub.com