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Nicotine Disposal Rule Change

This new update and amendment relates specifically to the disposal of some small nicotine replacement items.

Nicotine products are considered a chemical waste. When the product is unused and must be disposed of, it is classified as RCRA hazardous waste. Depending on the specific product and how it’s been used, the disposal requirements can change.

In the past, regulations stated that any product containing nicotine or nicotine salts as a sole-active ingredient, and that weren’t used as intended, must be discarded as hazardous waste.

However, a new amendment to the rule has been announced by the EPA that updates the P075 nicotine listing and states that some FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement therapies will NO longer be listed as hazardous waste.

An example of this type of waste would be a nicotine patch that’s been opened from its packaging, but not used. In addition to patches, both nicotine gum and lozenges are now no longer considered hazardous waste that must undergo specific disposal processes.

According the the EPA, the decision has been made because these items do not meet regulatory criteria when it comes to acute hazardous waste. They can now be tossed into regular garbage and refuse.

This new update and amendment relates specifically to the disposal of some small nicotine replacement items listed and does not change the rules around nicotine disposal for other products.

The following nicotine items are still considered P075 hazardous waste if they are unused and must be discarded, and they should be handled as such.

  • Any nicotine nasal spray or inhaler prescriptions.
  • The e-liquids and e-juices used in e-cigarettes. This includes all cartridges, or vials.
  • Any Nicotine that’s been used for research and manufacturing.
  • Old pesticides that contain nicotine in them.

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