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PenCycle pilot launched in England and Scotland to recycle injection pens

Health & NHS

PenCycle pilot launched in England and Scotland to recycle injection pens

A pre-filled injection pen recycling initiative called PenCycle has been launched by Novo Nordisk as a pilot in the Greater Manchester, Leicestershire & Rutland, and Greater Glasgow & Clyde regions, ahead of a national roll-out planned for 2022.

PenCycle, billed as the first initiative of its kind in the UK, aims to address the challenge of recycling injection pen devices. Partners include the National Pharmacy Association, Alliance Healthcare, LloydsPharmacy and Royal Mail.

It will feature a combination of free return options including community pharmacy drop off, postal mail-back and ‘at home’ collection. Participating pharmacies will receive a PenCycle starter pack which will contain practical guidance on the initiative, patient information and materials for patients to take home and start PenCycling.

Users of Novo Nordisk’s FlexPen and FlexTouch devices will be able to recycle their empty pens as part of the scheme. The pilot aims to recycle over 150,000 injection pen devices, amounting to over 2 tonnes of plastic materials.

By the end of 2022 it is anticipated that 1.1 million pen devices will have been recycled, with a potential to recycle a further 3 million devices in 2023, preventing over 56 tonnes of plastic waste going to landfill. The waste will be returned to Denmark where it will be recycled into a range of items such as chairs and lamps.

Elsewhere, to coincide with CP26, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is calling on industry and governments to implement change to reduce the environmental impact of medicines, saying they are responsible for 25 per cent of NHS carbon emissions.

In September the RPS released a Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency, which acknowledged that far from being simply an environmental issue, it is the most significant health threat that modern society has ever faced

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Health & NHS