With the support of Innovate UK, we have recently partnered with two SMEs in Greater Manchester, Dsposal and Reply, to help research ways of minimising and eliminating the use of plastic in pMDIs.1
The project won funding from the ‘Designing sustainable plastic solutions’ competition run by Innovate UK and primarily aims to redesign the plastic ‘actuator’ of the pMDI to make it more environmentally friendly. We believe being part of this research is a critical step to reduce the environmental impact of inhalers and aligns with our broader commitment of using our business as a force for good.1
We want to help people who use inhalers to recycle them as easily and safely as possible. As a result, we have developed and funded the Take AIR scheme, which is currently being piloted in the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland area.2
Take AIR is the first and only scheme to allow people to dispose of and recycle their empty, unwanted or out-of-date inhalers through the post – supporting a more sustainable way of living for people with respiratory illnesses. Pre-paid, pre-addressed, Take AIR envelopes are available for patients to obtain from their local pharmacy, enabling patients to post up to four inhalers through any Royal Mail letterbox.2
Through the Take AIR scheme:2
- Aluminium canisters are recycled and reused
- Plastic components are recycled and put back into the plastic supply chain
- Any remaining propellant gas is extracted and reused in items such as fridges and air conditioning units
- Non-recyclable materials are converted into energy through a process called ‘energy-from-waste’
As the largest B Corp® certified pharmaceutical company, we are serious about behaviour change. We consider our sustainability journey as an ongoing process and we are always improving and setting tougher goals.3
Our carbon reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi)4 and are in line with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.5
To become carbon neutral by 2035, we aim to:3
- Reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions generated and the emissions associated with the purchase of electricity and heat by 50% by 2030, compared to 2019
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of inhaled products sold by 80% by 2030, compared to 2019
- Reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from the use of sold products by 90% by 2035, compared to 2019
We also commit to report with 100% transparency on our environmental impact and progress every year.3
Find out more about our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality here
- Business Manchester. Women led research team backed by Innovate UK to improve sustainability of inhalers. Available at: https://businessmanchester.co.uk/2021/03/04/women-led-research-team-backed-by-innovate-uk-to-improve-sustainability-of-inhalers/. Accessed May 2021.
- PharmiWeb. Chiesi launches the first of its kind postal-based inhaler recycling scheme in the Leicestershire area. Available at: https://www.pharmiweb.com/press-release/2021-02-11/chiesi-launches-the-first-of-its-kind-postal-based-inhaler-recycling-scheme-in-the-leicestershire-area. Accessed May 2021.
- Chiesi. Action over words. Available at: https://www.actionoverwords.org. Accessed May 2021.
- Science-based Targets. How it works. Available at: https://www.sciencebasedtargets.org/how-it-works. Accessed May 2021.
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Paris Agreement. Available at: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement. Accessed May 2021.