We used the following formula to estimate the annual plastic savings of our products.

We measured a variety of traditional plastic medicine bottles and determined that, on average, a single empty bottle is made of 3.75 oz of plastic. We also analyzed consumer purchase data of over-the-counter medicine and concluded that, on average, consumers purchase about 5 refills of a given medicine per year. Oftentimes, pills expire before they're able to be used or, even worse, expired pills are consumed. Cabinet medicines come in lower pill counts than some bulk medicine offerings in order to minimize pill waste. With that in mind, we factored in a .85 to 1 ratio to account for us offering fewer pills per purchase than competitors in some cases.

Based on the above variables, we estimate that when you buy a Cabinet medicine starter set, you are eliminating 1 single-use plastic medicine bottle immediately plus 4 more via compostable medicine refills throughout the year. Multiply that by .85, and you are eliminating 1 lb of single-use medical plastic per year (15.9375 oz, to be exact).

We recognize and want to emphasize that this is a simple model for calculating the plastic savings of over-the-counter medicines in our sustainable medicine system. Different medicines have different refill cycles and pill counts. There is also a wide variance in traditional plastic bottle weight. This model also does not account for the plastic used in the secondary packaging of traditional medicine bottles, bulk shipping packaging, etc. It also looks exclusively at plastic waste even though greenhouse gas emissions are an important component of environmental impact as well. On that particular front, we use carbon neutral shipping to get our products to your door, but that still doesn’t measure the full picture.

With time, we aim to develop a more precise and accurate method for calculating the plastic savings of our refillable medicine system as well as to expand our approach to account for a more holistic view of a purchase’s environmental impact.