Chemmart stores in Victoria are uniting with Asthma Australia under the sponsorship of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in an Australian-first program to help reduce the environmental impact of disposed inhalers. The Complete the Cycle Inhaler Recycling and Recovery Scheme will be piloted across Victoria, with a view to expanding nationwide. Patients are encouraged to return empty respiratory inhalers to participating pharmacies, where they are collected and taken to a specialist recycling centre. When disposed of in landfill, old inhalers pose a risk in terms of greenhouse gas emissions should the gas canisters be pierced and any propellant released. Under the program, recovered plastics will be used to create a range of household items, while non-recyclable components are used as fuel to generate energy. Andrew Yeates, Medical Director of GSK Australia, said the program has already proved successful in the UK and will help pave the way for more environmentally sustainable treatment of respiratory disease in Australia. “If every person in Australia were to recycle their inhalers for one year, we would save 52,869 tonnes of CO2…by the end of 2015, we hope to have collected more than 1.5 million inhalers meaning major savings in terms of material waste and carbon emissions,” he said. Pictured above launching the scheme are: Katie Fala, Chemmart Services Manager; Robin Ould, ceo of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria; and Andrew Yeates.
CHEMIST Warehouse chief operating officer Mario Tascone (pictured above centre) presented Gotcha4Life founders Gus Worland and Gareth Pike with this $450,000 gigantic novelty cheque at an event earlier this week.