A nationwide return scheme for used insulin pens becomes reality

Starting 1. February 2022, insulin pen users can return their used pens at pharmacies across Denmark. The pens are recycled into new plastics and glass.

A person dressed in blue handing over a blue bag with used insulin pens to another person dressed in white.
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From 1. February 2022 insulin pen users can return their used pens at pharmacies across Denmark. The pens are then recycled into new plastics and glass.

Since December 2020, The city of Copenhagen has been an active member of the Returpen.dk partnership. Novo Nordisk Denmark spearheaded the partnership, which includes stakeholders from across the value chain.

After a successful 1-year pilot test in the municipalities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Kolding, the collection scheme is now implemented at a nationwide scale.

The pilot test achieved a return rate just short of 20 %, corresponding to nearly 77.000 pens, which testifies to the enormous potential of insulin pen recycling.

Read more on the initiative’s website Returpen.dk.