Apr 12, 2016

New recommendations to reduce pharmaceuticals in water

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) have become ubiquitous micro-pollutants in our waters and are becoming a growing concern. As a result of a collaboration between Swedish stakeholders, recommendations have been released that aim to reduce pharmaceuticals’ impact on waterbodies.

One single stakeholder cannot alone reduce the amount of pharmaceutical residues emitted into our water bodies. To achieve this, all concerned stakeholders need to collaborate. I hope the recommendations made by SIWI’s cluster group will benefit all stakeholders in their work,  says Torgny Holmgren, SIWI Executive Director.

The SIWI-led cluster group on water and pharmaceuticals have come to the conclusion that a holistic solution is needed, where all stakeholders in the pharmaceutical life cycle cooperate, and that Sweden’s extensive experience and competencies constitute a substantial resource in this regard. Many of the tools required to create a future with greatly reduced negative environmental impact are already available – it is more a matter of pushing the “green button” for the greatest overall benefit. Combining efforts along the entire pharmaceutical life cycle, including production, procurement, consumption, and wastewater treatment, will not only be key for sustainable development, but also lead to increased transparency and understanding between stakeholders catalyzing positive change.

The working paper Water and Pharmaceuticals – a shared responsibility, and the policy brief with the same name, are available to download here.

Learn more about the cluster group here.