• If you feel this is something we should support, can you respond to Ruth Dennison with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ by 20th August.  Our thanks to Pat Linney for inspiring and preparing the following.
    Resolution:
    All used inhalers should be returned to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely due to being pharmaceutical waste. They can be returned with other drugs waste by the Pharmacist, this is then thermally treated to destroy the greenhouse gases. This environmentally safe disposal route is available at all pharmacies and is paid for by NHS England.

     

    The issue is most people using inhalers do not realise they contain a high carbon footprint. Metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) contain Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are powerful greenhouse gases (more powerful than carbon dioxide), these help deliver the medication to your lungs. Dry powder dose inhalers (DPIs) contain smaller amounts. It has been recognised that changing a Metered Dose Inhaler to a Powder Dose Inhaler is the same reduction in carbon footprint as going vegetarian however not all people can switch due to the different mechanisms and medications in the different inhalers, and it is not advisable to stop using a pMDI without medical supervision.

    The public are unaware that inhalers should not be disposed in general waste and cannot be recycled in kerbside recycling due to being pharmaceutical waste. Inhalers put in kerbside recycling will be transferred to general refuse.

    Note: 
    GlaxoSmithKline stated in July 2012 that ‘Approximately 73 million inhalers in the UK were used every year’ and most go into landfill causing damage to the environment with residual inhalants escaping into the atmosphere and ‘If every inhaler-user in the UK returned all their inhalers for one year, this could save 512,330 tonnes of CO2eq – the same as a VW Golf car being driven around the world 88,606 times’.