Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Pharmaceutical waste

Pharmaceutical waste and disposal of medecinesdisposal of waste medicines

Pharmaceutical waste includes:

  • waste medicines
  • packaging contaminated with medicines
  • items used to handle and administer medicines, eg medicine-contaminated syringe bodies.

For cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines, and items that are contaminated by them, see the guidance for cytotoxic and cytostatic waste. Cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines are medicines that are either: toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction.

Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste

Disposing of pharmaceutical waste

Waste drugs and other pharmaceutical products that, unless made safe, could be hazardous to anyone who comes into contact with them are classified as clinical waste.

You must complete waste transfer notes for any waste that leaves your site. You must keep copies of all waste transfer notes for two years.

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Pharmaceutical waste must be made safe.

In Northern Ireland, pharmaceutical waste must be made safe by clinical waste incineration at an authorised incinerator.

In Scotland, pharmaceutical waste which is classed as cytotoxic or cytostatic must be disposed of by clinical waste incineration at an authorised incinerator. Other pharmaceutical waste can be made safe either by clinical waste incineration or by other appropriate methods.

Containers for pharmaceutical waste

Place all pharmaceutical waste in rigid leak-proof containers.

Store liquid wastes separately in appropriate individual leak-proof containers to prevent mixing.

Your containers should be clearly labelled by the manufacturer to identify that they are suitable for and contain pharmaceutical waste.

Your waste contractor should be able to advise or supply you with a container that meets the relevant requirements.

 

SEE ALSO: Laboratory waste, Cytostatic and cytotoxic waste, Guidance for the Healthcare sector

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.

    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

  • NetRegs:- FREE, ANONYMOUS, PLAIN ENGLISH GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms