Did you know the plastic from your old inhaler could help build a playground?
With the aim of contributing to a greener Ireland, Teva have announced the launch of a pilot inhaler recycling campaign for inhalers used to treat chronic respiratory conditions.
The first nationwide campaign scheme is intended to provide both patients and pharmacists with an innovative and practical solution for recycling used inhalers.
Last year, 4.4 million inhalers were prescribed to patients, and until now, there was no way to sustainably dispose of the product. Inhalers returned to pharmacies were incinerated while those disposed of at home ended up at the landfill.
Many people living with respiratory-related illnesses usually have at least two inhalers, a reliever and a preventer which essentially amounts to a large volume of plastic waste over the years.
As part of the programme, components of inhalers will now be recycled into a range of product applications including playgrounds materials, benches, shoes, backpacks and garden equipment.
Pharmaceutical giant Teva has partnered with TerraCycle, a global recycling company who created the zero-waste collection box now seen in many pharmacies across the country.
The recycling scheme is available in 100 pharmacies including Dublin, Cork, Galway, Donegal and throughout the midlands in places like Offaly, Laois and Westmeath.
With an aim to encourage an estimated 560,000 people in the Republic to recycle, the pharmacies accept all types of oral respiratory devices containing canisters or refill blisters including canisters on their own.
Talking at the launch Teva's Speciality Medicines Director Clodagh Kearns said: "Teva is an environmentally conscious company and we are continuously taking steps towards improving our impact on the environment. One of those steps is this new pilot programme which will provide pharmacists and people with respiratory-related illnesses the opportunity to recycle their inhalers for the first time in Ireland."
To find all the participating pharmacies by county, store name or address which will be taking in the recyclable inhalers visit www.teva.ie.