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Inhalers in Welsh recycling pilot

Health authorities in south Wales are piloting a scheme for the responsible disposal and recycling of inhalers containing hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases.

Eight pharmacies in the Swansea area taking part in the initiative in which inhalers are collected and the HFC gases are recaptured, cleansed and reused in refrigeration. The aluminium and plastic casing of the inhalers are also being recycled.

The Inhaler Recycling Pilot Project has used Welsh Government funding to establish a contract with Grundon Waste Management.

Patient education and promotional material, such as stickers on medication bags and boxes, encourage people to return used or unwanted inhalers to their pharmacy.

A survey undertaken in the area reported that 97.5% of patients who took part said they would be willing to return the inhaler to their pharmacy. The aim is to recycle 80% of all inhalers prescribed in the programme area by 2025.

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