How Do I Recycle Cannabis Packaging?

As a cannabis consumer, you have likely wondered how to recycle cannabis packaging. Can...

How Do I Recycle Cannabis Packaging?

As a cannabis consumer, you have likely wondered how to recycle cannabis packaging. Cannabis packaging can come in many forms, such as sealed bags, pre-roll tubes, and many jar and bottle options. Your power as a consumer goes beyond just proper disposal, however.

In this post, we’ll discuss the major concerns regarding recycling cannabis packaging, how you can evaluate recycling that packaging, and how policymakers can hear your voice to encourage sustainability initiatives in the future.

Is Cannabis Packaging Creating Excess Waste?

The cannabis industry increasingly contributes to the massive volume of packaging waste produced annually. This budding industry generates more than a billion pieces of packaging waste every year.

Given the progress of cannabis legalization, we will soon witness the introduction of even more cannabis packaging waste into the environment. The cannabis packaging boom we are experiencing is happening at a time when most single-use packaging is not reused or recycled

The cannabis industry needs to address the amount of packaging waste it produces. There is a need to develop sustainable cannabis packaging that is reusable and recyclable. As it stands, cannabis packaging rules sometimes prevent the development of reusable and recyclable packaging and the pursuit of sustainable practices

Child-Resistant Packaging Presents a Difficult Hurdle

Regulations for child-proof cannabis packaging are incredibly stringent compared to other adult-focused goods like alcohol and tobacco. Child-proof packaging regulations prevent consumer access to sustainable cannabis packaging as it is a significant contributor to the amount of packaging waste generated annually.

Research shows the cannabis industry could reduce packaging waste by 75% if regulators amended child-proof packaging regulations. 

Can You Recycle Cannabis Containers?

The short answer is: it depends. Unfortunately, the success of an item being recycled depends on its value for repurchasing recycled waste. The cannabis industry’s problem is that retailers cannot accept cannabis that a licensed provider did not produce. Since packaging for cannabis most likely contains cannabis residue, retailers cannot receive used packaging due to liability issues.

Currently in some states, retailers cannot comply with regulations on obtaining third-party cannabis products if they take used packaging. Often, retailers risk losing their license if they adopt packaging take-back programs. Practices vary greatly state-by-state, and no one system currently reigns supreme.

What Should I Do With Empty Cannabis Containers?

See if your dispensary participates in a take-back program. As mentioned above, it’s not legislatively possible everywhere but remains the best circular model for reuse.

Always attempt to upcycle and reuse it before tossing it into the recycling bin. Even single-preroll containers prove excellent for organizing items like beads or spices. Increasing the longevity of a product is step one if you cannot return it directly.

If you do intend to recycle, before purchasing, ensure the packaging you are receiving is highly recyclable, meaning it is either glass or has a low recycling number.

Seek to purchase products ensconced in sustainable packaging, such as Sana Packaging’s products made using 100% plant-based hemp plastic, 100% ocean-bound and reclaimed ocean plastic and other sustainable materials. 

Try avoiding any single-use packaging and hardware, like single-use vaporizers and cartridges. 

Consumers Should Encourage Regulations Promoting the Reuse and Recycling of Cannabis Packaging

Regulations promoting sustainable cannabis packaging need the support of government regulators and the cannabis industry. As a consumer, it’s vital to understand the importance of personal and policy recommendations discussed in this blog post. Cannabis consumers must actively advocate for sustainable packaging practices, as their support is the key to achieving sustainable cannabis packaging solutions.  

Consumers should support companies promoting the development of reusable and recyclable packaging while encouraging the cannabis industry to advocate for regulations promoting the reuse and recycling of packaging. Laws allowing access to packaging take-back programs would empower consumers to reuse and recycle, such as those being implemented in New York state.

These programs would also help the cannabis industry attain a sustainable packaging solution. The cannabis industry and government officials will adopt sustainable packaging solutions if consumers encourage the adoption of sustainable packaging regulations. While pursuing sustainable packaging solutions, remember your voice with both your purchasing and policy-influencing power. Consumers can help the cannabis industry become green in more ways than one. 

Contact us if you’re ready to build a long-term relationship with a cannabis packaging supplier you can trust. Sana Packaging is here to help you find cannabis sustainable packaging for your cannabis products. It all starts with a conversation!