Inhalers are a lifeline for millions of people dealing with respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More than 27 million people in the US have asthma alone. However, just like any other medication, inhalers have an expiration date. Proper disposal of expired inhalers is crucial to ensure environmental safety and the well-being of the community. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the responsible and eco-friendly methods to dispose of expired inhalers.
The Environmental Impact
Before diving into disposal methods, let’s understand why proper inhaler disposal matters. Inhalers often contain a combination of plastic and metal components, making them challenging to break down and recycle. Additionally, the propellants and leftover medications in expired inhalers can pose environmental risks if not handled correctly. According to GlaxoSmithKline, 29% of inhalers that are disposed of still have medication left in them. The improper disposal of inhalers may result in these substances entering landfills or water systems, potentially harming ecosystems and wildlife.
Safe Disposal Methods
Check with Your Local Pharmacy
- Many pharmacies have programs in place for the safe disposal of expired medications, including inhalers. Check with your local pharmacy to see if they have a take-back program or if they can guide you to an appropriate disposal location.
Participate in Medication Take-Back Events
- Communities often organize medication take-back events where residents can safely dispose of expired medications, including inhalers. Keep an eye on local announcements and participate in these events to ensure your expired inhalers are handled responsibly.
- Some companies offer mail-back programs for inhaler disposal. These programs allow you to send back your expired inhalers to the manufacturer for safe and proper disposal. Check with the manufacturer of your inhaler to see if they offer such a program.
- While not all inhalers are recyclable due to their complex composition, some parts may be eligible for recycling. Separate the plastic and metal components of the inhaler, and check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept these materials. It’s essential to follow the guidelines provided by your local recycling center.
Safely Dispose of Your Expired Inhalers Today
Ensuring the proper disposal of expired inhalers is a small yet significant step toward protecting our environment and community health. By following these responsible methods, you contribute to the reduction of environmental impact and potential harm to wildlife.
Join us in making a positive impact by responsibly disposing of your expired inhalers. Contact Medical Waste Pros at (888) 755-6370 or fill out the form to find services near you today.