Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is beginning a program to recycle spent respiratory inhalers. The company is signing up pharmacies in the Raleigh-Durham area and 30 other cities to collect the breathing aids. The company tested the program in a few of the selected cities and collected about 27-hundred inhalers. GSK's vice presider for respiratory business Jorge Bartolome says the "Complete the Cycle" program will break down the inhalers for multiple uses.
Jorge Bartolome: "The plastics can be recycled for things such as hangers and the same thing with the metals that can be used for things like car parts..as well as for the propellant gases to be filtered, the residual medicine removed and the gases also recycled."
Bartolome says the parts will not be re-used to make new inhalers. Pharmacies that will serve as collection sites will be announced next month. GSK hopes it can collect more than 100-thousand of the empty devices in the program's first year.