Merck has made a decision to discontinue the current shipping container
recycling program on April 1, 2016. Last year, Merck created 2 new shipping containers in an effort to reduce the number of containers needed to ship our vaccines. Additional new containers will be introduced in 2016.
Fewer containers will reduce the amount of recycling needed as well as align with Merck’s goal to support the environment by providing better packaging and shipping solutions.
- Effective April 1, 2016 UPS will no longer accept shipping containers on behalf of Merck for recycling.
- Additionally, pre-paid UPS recycling return labels will no longer be included in new deliveries from UPS for Merck products.
- Shipping containers will continue to be made from EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) which is a recyclable material.
- After April 1, UPS will no longer accept containers on behalf of Merck for recycling
- Local or regional options for recycling of polystyrene may exist in your area; please contact your local municipality or township for specific information
- Information regarding recycling has been updated on MerckVaccines.com®. You can access this information under ‘Professional Resources’ or at MerckVaccines.com/recycling
- The current process for handling product returns is not changing
- If you have any questions, please contact the Merck Vaccine Customer Center at 1-877-829-6372, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM ET
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Merck discontinuing its recycling program?
In order to concentrate our efforts and investments on shipping and packaging improvements, Merck is ending the recycling program for its shipping containers beginning on April 1, 2016. After April 1, UPS will no longer accept containers on behalf of Merck for recycling.
Why does Merck continue to use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) to ship vaccines?
Given the stringent temperature requirements needed when transporting vaccine products, EPS continues to be the industry standard due to its demonstrated thermal and protective properties during transit.
Where can I send my shipping containers for recycling if I want to continue to recycle on my own?
If you would like to continue recycling on your own, please contact your local municipality or township for potential local or regional options in your area. You can find your nearest EPS Recycling location by visiting the EPS Packaging Recyclers site
. Please keep in mind that Merck is not affiliated in any way with these recycling companies.
What is Merck doing to reduce the number of shipping containers being sent?
Merck has introduced smaller, more efficient shipping containers that allow UPS to “right size” an order, therefore, reducing waste and the number of packages that you receive. Merck will introduce additional shipping containers in 2016. Ultimately, these combined changes will result in an approximately 20% to 25% reduction in the number of containers we send to customers.
Do you think Merck will offer shipping container recycling again in the future?
While Merck continually evaluates our shipping programs and offerings, there are currently no plans to bring back the recycling program. However, in the event that we do decide to re-implement the recycling program, we will notify you accordingly.
What is Merck doing to support the environment?
Merck takes its responsibility to protect the environment seriously. For additional information about what Merck is doing, please visit http://www.merckresponsibility.com/environmental-sustainability
. For example, Merck has started a Packaging Design for Environment (DfE) program that is applied at the initial design stage, and encourages Packaging Engineers to minimize package sizes and to use more environmentally-friendly packaging materials. Through this program, Merck expects to reduce the amount of waste that customers will need to handle.
Is there someone at Merck I can speak to regarding this decision?
Yes, please contact the Merck Vaccine Customer Center at 1-877-829-6372, Monday - Friday, during the hours of 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM ET. Please do not contact United Parcel Service (UPS) as this decision is being made solely by Merck.
Do other vaccine manufacturers or distributors offer shipping container recycling programs?
Other companies may offer shipping container recycling options. Please check directly with them for more information.
UPS=United Parcel Service.