With cannabis legalization working its way across the country, more and more cannabis products are being produced and sold. With the increase in sales comes a growing concern about the waste generated from packaging materials and how to make this part of the burgeoning industry more sustainable.

It’s estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic materials make it into the ocean annually according to a 2015 study published in Science. Due to regulations and costs, cannabis packaging has to be childproof and affordable leading processors to use heavy duty plastics, many of which can’t be recycled. Some brands in the industry have responded by using recyclable materials such as glass, cardboard, cork, and hemp-based plastics.

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