Novo Nordisk are a global healthcare company, founded in Denmark in 1923.

Our purpose at Novo Nordisk UK is to defeat diabetes, obesity, rare blood and hormone disorders, to improve the lives of millions of people in the UK. Today, we supply over half the world’s insulin. 

Everything we do is based on acting socially, environmentally and financially responsibly with planned zero environmental impact. We call this “Circular for Zero”. We are proud to be working together with a range of organisations providing services in the UK healthcare sector to bring PenCycle to life. 

Novo Nordisk diabetes (insulin and GLP-1) and weight management pens can be collected via pharmacies.

Please note: Growth Hormone pens are only being collected via the Novo Nordisk home delivery service, as Growth Hormone is a controlled drug.

All other medical waste, for example insulin vials, insulin pumps and pens from manufacturers other than Novo Nordisk, cannot currently be recycled and will be sent for incineration. Only pre-filled Novo Nordisk pens can be returned, in a dedicated PenCycle return box

At the moment, people using diabetes (insulin or GLP-1) or weight management pens can drop off their PenCycle return box containing their empty pens at any participating pharmacy in the three pilot areas:

  • Glasgow
  • Leicestershire & Rutland
  • Greater Manchester

You can find more information about participating pharmacies in the  “Where can I PenCycle?” section of this website.

Pre-filled Novo Nordisk pens containing Growth Hormone cannot be returned via pharmacy or postal routes. People who use these pens can return them via their Alcura home delivery service.  

Every pre-filled Novo Nordisk pen returned to us through PenCycle will be recycled and given new purpose. We have already started this process in Denmark, where we have shown the positive impact repurposing these materials can have: 

  • The plastic has gone into new furniture
  • The glass has been repurposed into lightbulbs

Every pen that is returned to us will be sent back to our specialist facility in Denmark to be recycled. This process will use existing logistical routes to minimise the environmental impact. Every shipment of pens will be tracked and recorded to make sure none of them end up incinerated or in landfill.  

Landfill uses a lot of space and is unsustainable, while incineration uses a lot of energy and leaves some plastic waste behind. By PenCycling, you are helping to make sure each pen is repurposed in an environmentally friendly way. 


Yes. These are made from recyclable materials and will be recycled as part of the PenCycle process. 


No. Pharmacists have been invited to participate in the initiative to support environmental targets, but they will not receive money to collect pens.