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      CONSUMER SURVEY & LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA) OF PHARMACEUTICAL WASTE DISPOSAL PRACTICES IN THE UK

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      Survey, Household pharmaceutical waste, LCA, UK

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          Abstract

          Unused or expired medicines from the hospital and household waste can ultimately end up in landfills or be released to the wastewater system. There is, therefore the potential for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), from a range of medicinal products, to be present in landfill leachate and sewage effluents. In this project, a household survey was performed to understand the typical waste generation patterns for medicines and disposal routes. The results from the household survey showed; 206 respondents from Yorkshire (56.3%), and 43.7% from Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Greater London and other regions. From the survey as well, the results have been divided into two categories, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines; disposal options order for OTC medicines from 53.2% of disposed of percentage are, throw into rubbish (28.6%), take-back to pharmacies (16.1%), toilet disposal (1.9%), sink disposal (1.6%) and others such as disposal as per instructed on medicines packets (5%); meanwhile, for the disposal options order from 21.2% of disposed of percentage, take-back to pharmacies (12.1%), throw into rubbish (5.4%), toilet disposal (0.3%), sink disposal (0.3%) others such as disposal as per instructed on medicines packet (3.1%). It shows that disposal into rubbish (34%) has been identified as the most common disposal methods by the respondents in the UK and these pharmaceuticals waste will ultimately end up in the landfills. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was then used to compare the environmental emissions from different pharmaceutical waste disposal options. The LCA work is ongoing but is exploring the following practices: disposal to the toilet or sink (wastewater treatment); the use of take-schemes (incinerations); disposal of into rubbish (landfills); and new in situ treatment approaches (e.g. PyroPure). Conclusions from the analysis will be presented.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          ScienceOpen Posters
          ScienceOpen
          11 February 2020
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Environment and Geography, University of York
          Article
          10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-.PPRKMUI.v1

          This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

          Environmental studies, General environmental science

          Survey, UK, LCA, Household pharmaceutical waste

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