- Emily Drayton, Staff Writer
Packaging is Wrecking the Planet
The Earth is being overrun by plastic. It’s estimated that about 2 million tons enter the oceans each year. There are islands plastic islands in the middle of each ocean, the largest of which is called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” which is 3x the size of France, and weighs as much as 500 Jumbo Jets.
And if this doesn’t bum you out, let me try again: as cannabis consumers, we are part of the problem. From Mic:
“Legal Weed Packaging is Wrecking the Planet. What are We Going to Do About It?”
There is no question that this massive packaging problem is caused by regulators. The industry has made every attempt to create sustainable packaging solutions, only to be rejected, overruled and re-regulated to the tune of millions of dollars in package design and re-design fees, and hard costs. The Great California Switcheroo was devastating to business AND the environment.
One analysis in the U.S. found that a sample of cannabis products used plastic packaging weighing four to 30 times their contents
Another investigation in Canada found that 1 gram of weed can come in up to 70 grams of plastic.
Some states limit the amount of THC that can go into a single package, which may mean in some cases that a package can only contain one or two gummies
And don’t get me started on Plastic Joint Tubes!
THE DEEP DIVE
Let’s not forget the second part of the headline: “What are we going to do about it?” Our industry is full of good and responsible people who are trying to create solutions to this regulatory plastic mess, and I urge you to seek out these companies and others like them, and give them your business:
Canna dispensary in West Seattle has a recycling program called Canna Collect where they do recycling and neighborhood cleanups
Green For Green in Colorado – recycling bins at dispensaries
Airfield dispensary in San Jose was reported by Karen a few weeks back, they are partnering with CannaCraft and Resynergi to turn plastic into fuel
Sana Packaging – makes hemp plastic and ocean-plastic
Sun Grown Packaging has developed tiny boxes made of recyclable or compostable paper products that incorporate a specially-patented child-proofing mechanism
Paper Tube Co. has done the same thing, but in tiny cylindrical form — perfect for joints, vape cartridges, and other small items.
L’Eagle - - In Denver, Colorado, the L’Eagle dispensary offers discounts for recycling containers while promoting reusable products in the store.
Another Clubhouse friend who goes by “Ancillary” is with Integra biodegradable humidity packs, which is certified by the FDA, ISO, and GMP Certified.
THE LOOP BACK
One hopes this short summary illustrates the fact that there are ARE planet-friendly options available to those who believe issue of cannabis packaging waste should be active in our purchasing decisions. Whatever can be done to reduce the plastic waste is better for all of us.
In addition, one can support ongoing lobbying efforts of NORML , the National Cannabis Industry Association, and others, or file complaints with Tamara Colson, for example, the acting head of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control at email@example.com
You can also raise a ruckus with your local dispensaries and your suppliers, if you feel they could do better for the environment.
Last but not least, some might argue that the best option is to grow your own.
IMAGES: The Ocean Cleanup and Sana Packaging