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Marijuana Recycling: The Issues And a New Approach

Back when Cannabis was legalized nearly a year ago, there were immediate concerns regarding the proper packaging of the product. The public was not impressed (and rightfully so) with cannabis packaging and was quick to explain why. Since then, various provinces have been looking into recycling programs for these packages. Additionally, people are hoping that growers will follow this trend and reduce the amount of packaging they use.

The Issue

The primary issue is the plastic pill-like bottles that cannabis arrives in. There are fair reasons as to why this is the case, such as child locks, smell proofing, and hidden contents, but many have pointed out greener options that supply the same results. According to the guidelines provided by Health Canada, the packaging must also prevent the contamination of cannabis. This issue has been handled better by most online dispensaries however, and the public knows it and is speaking out.

The Producers

As mentioned earlier, the general public is hoping that growers and producers will follow this green weed trend. Some have begun to cut down on extra packaging (such as removing paper and plastic wrappings around the pill bottles), and some are looking to move away from the pill bottle in general. This has already been achieved by some producers, Aphria for example has been selling bud in sealed brown envelopes.

A New Approach in the East

P.E.I and New Brunswick have made great strides for the cannabis recycling issue. Earlier in the year, New Brunswick introduced cannabis recycling kiosks at 7 locations and claims to have recycled over a dozen crates of plastic containers in a 3 month span. Prince Edward Island also announced a similar province-wide recycling program for cannabis. They have set up 4 kiosks across the island and have partnered with a local recycling company to repurpose the packages and materials used in cannabis products. While things are moving in the right direction, federal regulations on marijuana packaging is limiting the creativity of producers and distributors alike. For a significant change to happen, we may need to see these regulations altered to allow for greener packaging.

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