Saskatchewan pot stores ‘go green’ with recycling program for cannabis packaging

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WATCH: The rapid growth of the cannabis industry is raising tough environmental questions about the impact of packaging. – Mar 19, 2019

With legal pot packaging piling up, some Saskatchewan cannabis retailers are making an effort to “go green” by introducing recycling bins designed for marijuana packaging in their stores.

“Some of the concerns I’ve heard from customers is mostly the footprint that we’re leaving with this packaging,” said Falon Rothe, associate manager at Tweed in Regina.

READ MORE: Major cannabis retailer enters Regina market, independent stores forming co-op

Most marijuana is sold in single-use plastic containers, each holding a specific amount set by federal guidelines.

With the industry’s rapid growth and the bulky packaging piling up, Tweed has partnered with U.S.-based TerraCycle to create a recycling program for these items.

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“We care a lot about the environment, we care a lot about what our customers think, we care a lot about the consumer as well,” Rothe said.

The program accepts any and all cannabis packaging purchased from a licensed retailer, including tins, joint tubes, plastic caps and flexible plastic bags.

READ MORE: Canadians spent $43M on cannabis in first two weeks after legalization: StatCan

But it’s not just chain stores that are jumping on board, as Saskatoon’s Living Skies Cannabis started collecting containers last month.

“Just make sure you take all your goodies out of the container. You don’t have to rinse it out under water or anything, just give it a wipeout and come and drop it off in our TerraCycle recycling bin,” said store owner Cierra Sieben-Chuback.

“It’s just one of those things that need to be done to combat the waste and protect our planet.”

Once TerraCycle picks up the packaging, it’s melted down into plastic pellets and used as a material in items like park benches and playgrounds.

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