The fast-growing cannabis industry is a growing source of packaging waste, with billions of packages made of plastic, composite materials, and glass already contributing to a new problem. Sana Packaging, founded by two University of Colorado Boulder students, Ron Basak-Smith and James Eichner, has developed hemp- and ocean-plastic-based alternatives for cannabis packaging that is made from natural and recycled materials. Earth911’s Mitch Ratcliffe talks to the Ron and James about their experience as young entrepreneurs in a young industry.
Sana makes packages for cannabis flower (the part you smoke), extracts and vape pens, as well as edibles. The company’ latest tube packages are made from 100-percent recycled ocean plastic.
Because cannabis products are tracked from “seed to sale,” it may be the first industry to grow up on a circular packaging model, but the early packaging investments by cannabis distributors were not sustainable. Sana Packaging is working with more than 50 customers to change how pot is packaged.We also discuss how older laws, such as those requiring child-proof seals, present special challenges to sustainability — the locking caps are made with parts of harder plastic that can be more difficult to recycle.
If you are considering legal cannabis, consider the impact cannabis packaging will have when you buy.