Until recently the collection of medicines was made in Spain from time to time through nonprofit organizations on humanitarian grounds in order to send those drugs have not expired and kept in good conditions in underdeveloped countries.
In 2001 SIGRE is a nonprofit organization whose initials stand for the "Integrated Management and Collection of Packaging", launched by the Spanishpharmaceutical industry to comply with the Packaging Law and provide proper environmental treatment of empty containers or leftover medicine, as well as expired medicines.
SIGRE has been designed as a closed management system based on a process of reverse logistics involving different agents in the drug chain.
This awareness-raising, environmental initiative SIGRE, company pioneer in Spain wantto avoid that both drugs and their packaging mix with other household waste and end up in the trash, unable to receive proper environmental treatment.
In Spain it is estimated that each year, drug companies put on the market around 1,400 million packages of pharmaceuticals.
During 2009, 20,654 Points in pharmacies SIGRE partners have collected a total of 3360.77 tonnes of waste medicines,representing an increase of 14.61% over the previous year.
The collaboration of the people, who came to the point SIGRE to deposit their waste of medicines has increased, this can be clearly seen in the monthly average obtained for each 1,000 inhabitants, which has experienced an increase of 14.61% over 2008.
2. SEPARATE COLLETION
Empty containers or traces of drugs, as well aspharmaceuticals, generated in the homes require specific collection and therefore can not be deposited in garbage containers or mixed with other debris.
They should be placed in containers specially designed for this type of waste found in pharmacies attached to SIGRE collection system.
Pharmacies are SIGRE Point of collection, as well as information and customer service.
What you should place the consumerat the point SIGRE your usual pharmacy is:
Empty medicine containers, with their boxes and leaflets.
Containers with traces of drugs.
The date medicines.
Can not be deposited in the Punto SIGRE:
Thermometers, prosthetics, X-rays and needles.
Material cures, sharp objects, contact lenses and glasses.
Other products that, because of its purpose, can be regarded themselves asmedical devices.
Since the system was inaugurated in 2001 SIGRE all discarded containers drugs distributed by Spanish pharmacies arrive at the plant “ SIGRE selection and classification of drugs” Cerceda (A Coruña), a installation of the Danigal company.
In plant Galician classifies appreciates and separate those medications large toxicity as anticancer drugs and cartons,radiographies, glass syringes, etc.
Is separated from the packaging materials can be recycled (paper and cardboard, plastic, glass) for delivery to recycling companies that incorporated authorized as raw materials in manufacturing processes for new products.
Likewise, we proceed to classify the remains of drugs according to their type and composition, so that they can be delivered to authorized wastemanagers for treatment according to current regulations. Most of these wastes are recycled to recover energy.
In other countries, collected the drugs once they are incinerated. Cerceda factory is Europe's only doing this procedure for the recycling of drugs and is serving as a model.
The activity of SIGRE begins with the collection of drug residues through the specific containers installed inthe pharmacy (Punto SIGRE), where consumers can deposit the medicine no longer needed or are outdated, and their empty containers.
Fig. 1 Punto SIGRE
Then the pharmaceutical distribution (FEDIFAR), drug residues...