Now you can recycle inhalers

IT IS now possible to recycle inhalers in Montrose.

People with respiratory illnesses such as asthma or COPD can, for the first time, reduce their carbon footprint by returning their inhalers to a local Co-operative Pharmacy for recycling.

‘Complete the Cycle’ is an innovative scheme run by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and supported by TerraCycle UK and participating pharmacies.

The take-back scheme was piloted over six months in 40 Co-operative pharmacies in Spring 2011.

Since the start of the pilot, approximately 20,000 respiratory inhalers, or six per cent of those that would normally be used and disposed of in the period, were returned, preventing the release of the inhaler propellant, a greenhouse gas, into the environment.

Experts say the amount of propellant saved is equivalent to preventing the release of around 114 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which equates to 20 trips around the world in a 1.4 VW Golf!

Gary Ilbrey, commercial development manager at GSK, commented: “We are delighted that we have been able to extend this successful take back scheme to cover Scotland and to now include inhalers made by other manufacturers besides GSK.

“At GSK we take environmental sustainability very seriously and have targets of a 25 per cent reduction in our overall carbon footprint across the value chain by 2020. This scheme forms part of that commitment.”

Dean Norris, pharmacist at The Co-operative Pharmacy at 73-75 Murray Street, commented: “I am delighted to be able to offer this simple yet effective service to my customers, and believe together we can make an important difference to our environment.

“As a responsible and ethical business it is important to take a lead in sustainable initiatives like these.”