Italian pharma company Chiesi has launched a pilot scheme in Leicestershire, UK which will aim to make disposing of and recycling inhalers easier.

The scheme, known as Take AIR (Take Action for Inhaler Recycling), is supported by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Leicestershire and Rutland Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

It will run for 12 months and will then be assessed for effectiveness, as well as how it can be rolled-out in additional locations.

As part of the pilot scheme, people will be able to dispose of and recycle empty, unwanted or out-of-date inhalers through the post.

To use the scheme, people can ask their local pharmacist (in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland area only) for a ‘Take Air’ pre-paid postage envelope, and recycle up to four inhalers by posting the envelope into a Royal Mail post box.

“As part of our ongoing commitment towards a sustainable future, Chiesi has developed and funded the Leicestershire Take AIR scheme,” said Tom Delahoyde, managing director of Chiesi in the UK and Ireland.

“We want to help people who use inhalers, and are worried about the impact on the environment, by making an easy and safe process to recycle, particularly in these challenging times,” he added.

“We are proud to support the Chiesi Limited scheme alongside the Local Pharmaceutical Committee for Leicestershire & Rutland, to bring this innovative scheme to the people of Leicestershire,” said Dr Anna Murphy, consultant respiratory pharmacist, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

“We all want to do our bit to help the environment and at this current time, with many of us wanting to limit how often we go into closed spaces, a postal-based scheme is a great way for people in the area to easily recycle their used inhalers,” she added.