It's been nearly two months since the city's ban on certain polystyrene foam containers went into effect, not that foam's been stricken from our landfills altogether. Indeed, the ban doesn't cover containers used to store "raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance," and that includes medications that need to be refrigerated. But one city employee says she's fed up with the wasteful styrofoam that accompanies her regular birth control deliveries.
In a video posted on Reddit today, the woman, a city teacher, explains that her 3-month supply of NuvaRings, which need to be refrigerated, come packaged in giant, earth-killing styrofoam containers every 90 days, since her health plan prohibits her from picking up her maintenance medications at a pharmacy. See below:
When contacted for comment, a Department of Education spokesperson told us that this is not related to the DOE, and DOE employees can choose from a number of different insurance plans managed by private companies like AETNA, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna, all of which have different policies regarding prescription delivery. It's not uncommon for health plans to require maintenance medications like ones for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even birth control be delivered instead of picked up at pharmacies. A health insurance plan advertised on the United Federation of Teachers's website notes that "all maintenance medications (90 day supply) will have to be ordered through the Express Scripts Home Delivery Service." The UFT did not respond to request for comment.
Still, that's a hell of a lot of styrofoam. Surely there's a better way?