Cannabis Industry Confronts The Big Issues | Valdamark Packaging

The cannabis industry is looking to address the social and environmental issues spring up around its acceptance in society.

Cannabis
The Cannabis Industry answers it’s critics by demonstrating just how many opportunities for mainstream businesses are created in the United States & Canada.

Many see the cannabis industry as the ‘Wild West’ of retail but the fact is that cannabis and it’s companion products are supporting many a regular business in both Canada and the U.S.

Actually there is nothing short of a long queue from businesses looking to enter the cannabis space. Altria & Constellation Brands are two big names that are looking to expand into the vaping and edibles market with billions of dollars at their disposal.

Much of what we see in the press focuses about the ‘cannabis’ aspect of the cannabis industry. However their are many responsible professionals who are confronting the wide array of social issues that come with cannabis’s entry into the mainstream.

Cannabis Vaping and e-cigarette usage seems to be forever increasing but despite their popularity vapers and smokers alike are getting bad feedback from people who do not.

This can be anything from being sent outside to vape or getting a not so nice look when they smoke on the street!

It is the belief of Philter™ Labs that vaping does not have to effect the environment or people in it. Their products give clients the choice to either vape in a traditional manner or to filter their emissions depending on the environment.

Philter Labs recently debuted the worlds first dual function filter developed by experts from the protective packaging industry.

Many are seeing Philters new technology as a solution that lets responsible adults participate in what is increasingly acceptable behavior.

As a fast growing delivery method for both cannabis and nicotine the vape market creates huge amounts of waste!

Everything from the packaging pouches through to the vaporizer batteries and their pods.

Cannabis activist Katie Stone says responsible recycling is necessary in the cannabis industry and also the right thing to do.

The action taken in other industries can provide a blueprint for what to do in the cannabis industry. Take Terra Cycle as an example. Their motto is recycling the un recyclable, unfortunately it is illegal to reuse the cannabis containing sections of vape pens and e-cigarettes, however the plastic and electronic can be recycled.

Much Needed Change

As consumers shift toward sustainable products, the cannabis industry needs to make important changes to protect the environment, including reducing single-use packaging.

To reduce its environmental impact, the cannabis industry must adopt a more circular approach that seeks to minimise waste and provide sustainable options for consumers.

Companies can gain clarity on their efforts to make a positive impact by thoroughly evaluating potential materials and understanding their impacts on the value chain.

Upstream Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Packaging

Glass packaging for cannabis typically has a smaller environmental impact than plastic or metal. It is often sourced locally and manufactured near the point of sale.

Plastic is usually sourced from overseas, requiring lengthy and often energy-intensive transportation. On the other hand, metal can leave a large carbon footprint if not carefully sourced, especially if mined from distant sources.

Aside from these, paperboard has a broad range of impacts depending on whether it's produced from recycled or new materials.
Therefore, many marijuana businesses are affiliating themselves with green initiatives. These initiatives include compostable packaging or reusing old jars to help reduce their upstream impacts.

It is important for marijuana companies to adopt sustainable practices related to sourcing raw materials used in cannabis packaging materials before any products reach the marketplace.

Downstream Environmental Impacts of Cannabis Packaging

The downstream impacts of cannabis packaging investigate how these materials travel from waste streams into nature.

Packaging materials often fail to arrive at their intended location when they are disposed of improperly. In fact, most single-use packaging finds its way into waterways or landfill sites.

Microplastics from the breakdown of plastics can set up shop in animals’ bodies, causing long-term health risks for both wildlife and humans alike.

To combat this issue, stakeholders across the country have begun rolling out eco-friendly initiatives to reduce cannabis packaging’s continual invasion into our planet's ecosystems.

Only through a concerted effort between policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers will we be able to achieve a truly sustainable industry with negligible downstream environmental impacts.

The Future of Sustainable Cannabis Packaging

As the cannabis industry grows, one of the most pressing issues is finding reliable sources for sustainable packaging materials.

Marijuana dispensaries often provide their products in single-use plastic containers and other petroleum-based products that aren't recyclable, which end up in landfills and contribute to overall pollution levels.

To mitigate this problem, it's imperative to establish a circular system of cannabis packaging reuse and recycling. This can be done by incentivizing customers to recycle instead of throwing away their packaging (e.g., discounts or rewards).

Furthermore, companies must invest in proper infrastructure set up for the collection, sorting, and processing of these materials; additionally, regulations that require local governments to offer resources for a robust cannabis waste reduction system must be adopted by states nationwide.

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