The cannabis industry is full of entrepreneurs who are always looking for a way to grow their business. One aspect that many operators struggle with is what to do with the leftover product and packaging that cannot be sold or donated. A lot of research has been done on the topic to find an answer, but how the industry can be made more sustainable remains open.
What is cannabis waste and what is the risk of improper disposal?
Cannabis waste includes any cannabis plant material that is discarded as a by-product of the production process. On the business side, this can include:
- Leftover product
- Additional packaging
Cannabis waste disposal services like EcoWaste work hard to ensure that cannabis companies dispose of cannabis waste responsibly. These cannabis waste treatment operations provide an on-site pickup to collect unwanted cannabis plant material and just like other companies involved in cannabis, waste disposal is completed with compliance in mind.
Cannabis operators and consumers must dispose of cannabis waste properly. This is especially important when you consider the sheer amount of waste that industry produces. A single gram of cannabis flower from a Canadian store produces up to 70 grams of packaging waste, as reported by CBC.
For businesses, regulations and costly violations can be costly if not properly disposed of. But for consumers, improperly discarded cannabis waste could be rewarded with a quote or worse.
While business owners deal with a lot of cannabis waste, consumer cannabis waste can also have a devastating impact on the environment. But the most notorious of all cannabis waste, at least at this point in time, is vape pens.
Advantages of reusable vapes over disposable vapes
Vape pens and cartridges are made of different materials, sometimes in tiny quantities. This does not result in an efficient way to recycle them. Simply put, these cannot be recycled in conventional recycling facilities.
TerraCycleThe New Jersey-based company has implemented a recycling program called Cannabis Vapes Zero Waste Box. However, for now, this is only an option in Canada.
Reusable vapes produce less waste. While you still have to refill the cartridge or tank, the cartridges and tanks are non-disposable, which means they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere. This is especially important when sales of vape pens are increasing.
According to Marijuana Business DailyIn February, vape pen sales jumped from $ 1.5 billion in 2019 to $ 1.8 billion. However, the market share fell from 22.3 percent to 19.1 percent in the same period.
Even as cannabis vape pen sales go down, the demand for cartridges is increasing. However, some states, such as Colorado, are turning away from disposable cartridges due to the minimal bulk that each unit provides and the lack of recyclability.
Currently, eco-friendly, recyclable packaging is the ultimate way to make cannabis operations more sustainable. Industry regulations and specifications can help, but doing their part in reducing cannabis waste is vital for businesses and consumers in this area.