A Collaborative Approach to Primary Pharmaceutical Packaging

Circularity in Primary Pharmaceutical Packaging Accelerator (CiPPPA) launched to take collaborative action on pharmaceutical packaging.

April 2024 (UK) – The Circularity in Primary Pharmaceutical Packaging Accelerator (CiPPPA) initiative was launched in the UK this month to develop and implement strategies for end-of-use recycling of medicinal devices and pharmaceutical packaging.

The health industry is facing a multitude of challenges around the recycling of primary pharmaceutical packaging (PPP). Current regulations are stringent to ensure the safety, efficacy and regulatory compliance of each active medicinal product, but so far have been unable to take into account long-term environmental effects. In addition, PPP sits outside mainstream consumer recycling processes because of the problematic materials involved, which introduces wider environmental, financial, and regulatory challenges.

In line with the growing global emphasis on environmental sustainability within the healthcare sector, members of the new CiPPPA initiative aim to achieve waste reduction and environmental stewardship, such as the development of effective end-of-life product management of pharmaceutical packaging and diverting waste from landfill sites.

At the heart of CiPPPA’s efforts are three action task forces focused on packaging solutions surrounding blisters, inhalers, and injectables. These serve as the vehicles driving the initiative forward, and subject experts lead each task force through organisational schemes and industry collaboration. The task forces play a crucial role in spearheading collaborative efforts and leveraging the expertise and resources of member organisations to address the complex environmental challenges associated with pharmaceutical packaging.

The involvement of leading pharmaceutical companies, global over-the-counter (OTC) brands and healthcare systems such as the NHS, demonstrates a united industry commitment to influencing societal and cross-industry change for the benefit of the environment and the community.

About CiPPPA

CiPPPA is a collaborative not-for-profit initiative that connects stakeholders across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain to develop and deploy solutions for recycling of primary pharmaceutical packaging. CiPPPA is managed by a steering committee made up of member representatives within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors who envision a future where every individual can easily recycle used packaging from metered dose inhalers (MDIs), blisters and injectables, thus significantly diverting waste from landfill sites.

CiPPPA will focus on three essential functions: converging, accelerating, and coordinating collaboration. By working in a pre-competitive setting and establishing funded industry action taskforces, CiPPPA members aim to collaborate on deploying sustainable packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

A collective endeavor

Currently, the disposal of pharmaceutical packaging poses significant environmental challenges due to complex materials and regulatory restrictions for reusing pharmaceutical packaging. CiPPPA is poised to address these challenges by convening support across the industry to investigate and develop strategies for collecting, recycling, and repurposing the materials.


“By founding and establishing CiPPPA, we can deliver enhanced end-of-life for blister packs and related pharmaceutical packaging such as metered dose inhalers and injectables. The willingness of leading pharmaceutical companies and global OTC brands to support the initiative has been tremendous, and as CiPPPA continues to grow, so too does our ability to influence societal and cross-industry change.”

Duncan Flack, Global Sustainability Lead at Honeywell and Chairman of CiPPPA


“We’re delighted to support the launch of this important initiative and look forward to collaborating to achieve shared goals that can positively impact the pharmaceutical industry, the NHS, patients and the planet. As a founding member of CiPPPA, Chiesi is committed to continuing our journey of driving greener practices both inside and outside of our business.”

Harriet Lewis, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Chiesi UK and Ireland


“We’re proud to be a founding member of CiPPPA and join forces with partners across the sector to address the sustainable packaging of medicines and vaccines. We have ambitious company targets across climate and nature and through collaborative initiatives such as CiPPPA, we believe we can make a positive impact through the increased recycling of packaging, helping to protect the health of both people and the planet.”

Claire Lund, Vice President Sustainability, GSK


“CiPPPA envisions a future where collective efforts shape our actions. We are building a pre-competitive platform where we draw inspiration from member initiatives, schemes, projects and current solutions and adapt collectively as an industry with a shared problem. The impact of what we achieve together is dependent on our actions today. CiPPPA is not just about recycling, repurposing and end-of-life removal of PPP from landfills; it’s about creating a positive, environmentally-conscious and enduring legacy for the benefit of all.”

Maryam Babba, TDi’s Multi-stakeholder Manager and Lead Project Manager for CiPPPA



>> Primary Pharmaceutical Packaging (PPP) refers to packaging that is in direct contact with the medical product. It is also referred to as retail packaging or point-of-sale packaging. The main purpose of primary packaging is to preserve the product and/or disclose information about the product to the consumer.

>> The term ‘pre-competitive’ refers to the collaboration between otherwise competing companies that want to address shared challenges and goals. Pre-competitive partnerships have emerged as a powerful collaboration model for forward-thinking companies to share knowledge, practices and solutions.


About CiPPPA:

CiPPPA is a collaborative not-for-profit initiative that connects stakeholders across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain to develop and deploy solutions for recycling of primary pharmaceutical packaging.

Get in touch with CiPPPA: Maryam Babba: mbabba@tdi-sustainability.com

About TDi Sustainability:

TDi Sustainability is a globally renowned sustainability consultancy offering a comprehensive 360° perspective on sustainable business practices across natural resources value chains. TDi Sustainability is trusted by influential organisations worldwide for its deep knowledge, on-the-ground expertise, and creative solutions in sustainability.

Get in touch with TDi Sustainability: www.tdi-sustainability.com or info@tdi-sustainability.com


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