Do you reduce, reuse and recycle your cannabis packaging?

Published Mar 29, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Prompilove

We’re wrecking this planet at an astounding rate, and still, recyclable cannabis packaging isn’t a very popular subject among those with the power to make this change. However, as consumers show more of an interest in the environmental impact of the companies they support, it will eventually become the norm. Here, we’re going to talk a little bit about why that’s so important and what you can do to reduce reuse and recycle these materials.

Why it’s so important

Canadians in the first year of legalization alone are estimated to have tossed somewhere between 5.8 and 6.4 million kilograms of cannabis packaging, which all ended up in landfills across the country. Since then, production has only increased, making a sore issue even worse, and that trend isn’t likely to change, as more countries, states, and people get on board with using these products. If we want to save the environment and drinking water for future generations, then we can’t waste any time tackling this problem, and the responsibility lies partly with you, the consumer.

Be a force for change

Recyclable packaging initiatives take millions of dollars to get going, and without the proper facilities to process these materials, recyclable packaging on its own is rather useless. We need many of these places located in convenient places in conjunction with commitments from cannabis companies to go green and to get this done, it’s going to take pressure on governments, municipalities and retail giants who have the financial resources or otherwise to finish the task right.

Tips and tricks

Aside from lobbying governments and companies to make this shift, there are many things you can do to ensure you’re doing your part to reduce, reuse and recycle as many cannabis packages as possible.

1. Support businesses that utilize eco-friendly cannabis packaging

Many of the biggest cannabis companies are refusing to adopt eco-friendly practices, but if customers start only buying biodegradable wrapped products, they’ll have all the reason in the world to change their minds. Money talks, so why not use yours to send a message where it counts by supporting businesses that have already embraced this initiative.

2. Recyclable packaging is the next best thing


In an ideal world, we’d have cannabis packaging made using all biodegradable materials that will break down once the water hits them, but for now, we might have to settle for those in wrappers that can be recycled through dedicated processing facilities. It’s not the best choice, but it’s the next best thing.

3. Dispose of cannabis packaging properly

After purchasing a stash contained by multiple layers of packaging, it’s important that consumers dispose of these materials properly because throwing them in the trash is just going to send them to landfills, where nature will take many years to break them down. Instead, put aside all of your recyclable cannabis packagings until you can get to a recycling plant and then drop them off. It’s a simple and yet integral step that makes all of this energy and effort worthwhile.

4. Reuse cannabis packaging whenever possible

Some dispensaries sell nugs in a way that allows customers to bring their own containers, so why not put those packages to good use this way? Of course, it’s often only farmgate access providing this fine luxury, but if you have the opportunity, it’s an excellent time to take advantage of it in the name of the environment.

5. When you can’t recycle, repurpose those packages

Eco-friendly and recyclable packages are a luxury that not everyone can afford, but those that can’t – can still put some effort in to, at least, make sure these items get used again and again. Some people use them to make decorative walls or furniture, while others use the sturdy containers for arts and crafts or as vases. Donate them to schools and use any leftover cardboard to make filters. Put your mind to work coming up with ways these materials can be used more than once. The planet will thank you for it!

A sustainable future Hemp could replace all these things and more


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