Complete the Cycle™

Complete the Cycle™

We’re a leading provider of medications that treat respiratory diseases. In the US, these medicines are delivered in a variety of respiratory inhalers.

As a healthcare company, our mission is to help patients do more, feel better and live longer. As a corporate citizen, our goal is do this in a way that minimizes our impact on the planet. So we’re launching a first-in-industry recycling program for GSK respiratory inhalers in pharmacies in more than 31markets across the US (listed at right). 

The Complete the Cycle™ Recycle Program for GSK Respiratory Inhalers supports our company-wide goal of reducing waste to landfills by 25% by 2015 - and to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The Complete the Cycle program is intended for empty GSK respiratory inhalers but we accept empty non-GSK inhalers as well. Considerable effort is made to separate plastics from metal for recycling purposes and to purge any remaining gas from canisters so it can be reclaimed for non medical uses. Not all elements of GSK and non-GSK inhalers can be recycled. Any elements that cannot be recycled are incinerated for energy recovery.

For Patients
Complete the Cycle offers patients in these markets a simple way to recycle empty GSK respiratory inhalers at their pharmacies. When a patient visits a participating community-based retail pharmacy for a refill, he or she can place the empty inhaler in a specially designed recycling box supplied by GSK. 

Patients - see a list of participating pharmacies.

For Pharmacies
Complete the Cycle offers community-based retail pharmacies an in-store location for existing and new customers to drop off empty GSK inhalers for recycling (this is not a medicine take-back program).  It also may provide opportunities for pharmacists to interact with their patients.  

The program is a voluntary, free, and convenient way to recycle the inhalers. It should take little time and shelf space to implement. 

Pharmacists - order a Complete the Cycle™ Recycling Kit

The Recycling Process
Patients bring empty GSK respiratory inhalers to their pharmacy and place them in the container. Once the boxes are full, pharmacies send them (shipping is pre-paid) directly to a recycler where the inhalers are sorted and recycled. Plastics will be used to make new household products, such as hangers and plastic flower pots. The remaining gas is recovered and reused, and the metal from the canisters is recycled. The inhalers will not be recycled to produce new inhalers.

GSK’s Environmental Commitment
GSK is committed to delivering more products of value while protecting natural resources. The company aims to minimize environmental impact by setting ambitious goals to reduce our carbon footprint, water footprint, and waste.

Read more in our 2011 CR Report.


View and download Complete the Cycle Infographic (1Mb)


Complete the Cycle™
The program is running in the following 31 markets:

  • Anchorage, AK
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Eugene, OR
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Lexington, KY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • New York, NY
  • Oakland, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh/Durham, NC
  • Richmond, VA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Syracuse, NY