News

Reusable inhaler could cut plastic waste

Device can be reused six times before being recycled and will reduce product carbon footprint
The reusable models will avoid single-use inhalers going to landfill Picture: Alamy

Device can be reused six times before being recycled and will reduce product carbon footprint

A reusable inhaler could lead to 1.2 million fewer of the devices being disposed of each year in the UK, reducing the product carbon footprint and plastic waste.

Nurses will be important in ensuring patients understand the change from the single-use inhaler to the reusable soft mist inhaler, which has six refill cartridges, according to University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust respiratory nurse consultant Jane Scullion.

Ms Scullion is also part of the

Device can be reused six times before being recycled and will reduce product carbon footprint

 Alamy
The reusable models will avoid single-use inhalers going to landfill Picture: Alamy

A reusable inhaler could lead to 1.2 million fewer of the devices being disposed of each year in the UK, reducing the product carbon footprint and plastic waste.

Nurses will be important in ensuring patients understand the change from the single-use inhaler to the reusable soft mist inhaler, which has six refill cartridges, according to University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust respiratory nurse consultant Jane Scullion.

Ms Scullion is also part of the Sustainable Development Unit, funded by NHS England and Public Health England, to help health organisations with sustainable development and to adapt to climate change.

'This is a positive step forward for the environment, particularly when you think about the landfill from single-use inhalers', she said.

Return to pharmacy for recycling

Jane Scullion says the inhalers are ‘a positive step forward for the environment’
Jane Scullion

The inhalers are now being rolled out across the UK.

Ms Scullion said although the inhalers are reusable, they do have a ‘shelf life’ after using six refills and nurses and pharmacists could encourage patients to take them back to the pharmacy for recycling.

‘The change is also an opportunity for nurses to check patients’ inhaler techniques,' she added.

Makers of the inhaler Boehringer Ingelheim claim there is a 71% reduction in the product carbon footprint using the new Respimat® inhaler compared with using six of the previous disposable inhalers with one cartridge each.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published earlier this year, outlined targets to reduce carbon emissions and single-use plastics.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs