2. Inhaler recycling and returning
Inhalers cannot be recycled or disposed of with household waste so patients should be encouraged to return them to pharmacies.
Inhaler recycling schemes are patchy. If there is no recycling scheme locally, it is still important for inhalers to be returned to pharmacies so they can be incinerated with medical waste rather than go to landfill. All pharmacies should offer this service.
Step 1: Search for all patients prescribed inhalers
Create list of all patients with inhalers on repeat prescriptions.
- Primary Care IT Search: GIP-60) Inhaler issues in the last 12m
(available for EMIS & SystmOne)
Step 2: Send information to patients
Send correct info to patients (to return to pharmacy for recycling or disposal).
You can send patients an information leaflet on returning inhalers to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
PrescQIPP have information leaflets and banners you can add to websites about this.
- SMS inhaler recycling
- SMS inhaler disposal
- SMS how to tell your inhaler is empty
- Returning inhalers poster
Optional step 3: Update prescription templates
You could also update prescription templates on System One to give recycling or disposal advice.
Optional Step 4: Check if inhaler recycling offered locally
Currently we are not aware of any national inhaler recycling scheme. A previous GSK complete the cycle schme and the TEVA terracyle scheme for inhalers have both sadly ended. There is currently a recycling scheme being piloted in Leicestershire.
Did you know your inhaler should be disposed of safely by your pharmacy, not put in the bin at home? Return your inhaler to the pharmacy – this protects the environment. https://bit.ly/3fTzc5n
Optional: Inhaler recycling (if this is available at a local pharmacy)
Did you know your inhaler can be recycled by your local pharmacy? Don’t put it in household waste or recycling. Bring it to [pharmacy name] for recycling.
Optional: more information on inhaler disposal
For more info on how you should dispose of your used or unwanted inhalers, see https://www.recyclenow.com/recycle-an-item/inhalers