Movianto UK helps GSK expand inhaler-recycling scheme nationwide

Reduces number of inhalers being sent to landfill for disposal

At the Complete the Cycle launch are: (l to r) Sue Wadkins, Supply Chain Compliance Manager, GSK; Sean Doyle, Depot Manager, Movianto; and Gary Ilbrey, Commercial Operations Manager, GSK

Movianto UK, a leading European pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics provider, is taking part in an initiative to recycle inhalers used to treat asthma and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

The GSK Complete the Cycle inhaler recycling and recovery scheme, which began as a pilot in 2011, collects and recycles used inhalers across the UK to reduce the impact on the environment caused by their landfill disposal. The scheme operates in partnership with more than 1,700 pharmacies UK-wide. Patients can now simply return their used inhalers when they visit their pharmacy with repeat prescriptions. To the end of March, 112,536 inhalers had been returned, giving a CO2eq saving of 790 tonnes.

Approximately 73 million inhalers are used in the UK each year and 63% of these are disposed of in domestic rubbish bins. However, GSK has calculated that if every inhaler-user in the UK returned all their appliances for one year, 512,330 tonnes of CO2eq would be saved – the equivalent of a Volkswagen Golf 1.4TSI driving around the world 88,606 times.

The Complete the Cycle programme allows patients to take their inhalers to their local pharmacy for disposal. A further benefit is the interaction between the pharmacist and patient: a pilot scheme showed that 29% of the inhalers returned were not empty; on return to the pharmacy, staff were able to show patients how to improve the use of their inhaler, manage their condition and also help reduce medicine wastage.

With its own validated transportation fleet of more than 200 dual temperature vehicles, Movianto already delivers to every healthcare outlet weekly, and in some cases more frequently. It is therefore well placed to support the scheme and has built a solution that means no extra miles, thus adding further to the sustainable credentials of the project.

Companies