Take unused medicines to the pharmacy

Published: 10 Dec 2021

Make sure you take your old or unused medicines back to your local pharmacy for proper disposal rather than flushing them down the loo or sending them to landfill. 
Picture of pill packets
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

CHEMTrust have found that fish have become contaminated with the birth control pill, antidepressants (such as Prozac), sedatives, antibiotics, painkillers and anti-cancer drugs.

They also found traces of anti-inflammatories and pain killers in fur taken from otters. 

Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI) (pages 15-18) use the high Global Warming Potential (GWP) gases HFCs. HFCs and F-gases more generally, often have a GWP several thousand times more powerful than CO2. 

The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimates that F-gases accounted for about 3% of overall UK GHG emissions in 2015. 

Incorrect disposal of these inhalers can result in these gases escaping into the atmosphere.   


Recyclenow estimates that approximately 73 million inhalers are used in the UK every year and that if every inhaler-user in the UK returned all their inhalers for one year, this could save 512,330 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  

Make sure you find out where you can recycle your inhalers correctly in your area.  

Chemicals - things you can do

Zero waste - things you can do



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