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Home Industry News Wales Launch First Ever Inhaler Recycle Programme

Wales Launch First Ever Inhaler Recycle Programme

21st December 2022

The first programme of its sort has been launched in Wales by an assembly of eight pharmacies.

The initiative comes after a positive 12-month test period at the pharmacy in Vale of Neath, when almost 1,250 inhalers were given in for recycling after use.

A local study revealed that 90% of inhaler users were binning them in their household waste or in plastic recycling bags, prompting the establishment of the inaugural experiment.

Niki Watts, the head pharmacist of the Upper Valleys Cluster, prompted the entire program, running “a survey to find out why patients weren’t dropping their recyclers to the pharmacy because just two were returned in a few months.”

“The general consensus was they thought they would be recycled if disposed of in their household recycling, which isn’t the case. So, patients did not realise that their method was having a negative impact on the environment.”

“We educated patients on this and it has proved very effective in what we’re trying to achieve with recycling inhalers.”

Inhalers distributed at the eight contributing pharmacies will have stickers on them urging individuals to bring the medical device back after use.

The inhalers’ disposal will be done by a specific waste management business, rather than the pharmacies themselves. If the programme has ongoing positive results, it may be extended to all of Wales.

The senior PM from Swansea Bay Health Board, Oliver Newman, explained that “the results of our project are going to be fundamental in assisting the Welsh government’s decision for inhaler recycling opportunities across Wales.”

Inhaler recycling programmes don’t exist in the UK on a national level as of yet.

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