Even a cursory overview of cannabis reveals that this market is notoriously wasteful and has polluted the environment through chemical fertilizers, misuse of pesticides, contamination of plants, and perhaps most problematically.Careless excessive packaging.
The industry is in dire need of sustainable practices. The easiest way to start an impactful new trend is to adjust from the outside in: the way you package your products.
Sticking to sustainable packaging isn’t just good for the environment. It’s also more cost-effective and less labor-intensive, giving consumers the best possible version of their flowers, no matter how far they have to travel through the supply chain to get to retail shelves. can be provided.
Cannabis has progressed: It’s time for packaging to do the same.
By the time legalization began to spread across the United States, the industry already had decades of experience operating underground. That discretion incorporated a number of practices around not attracting attention, and the packaging focused solely on not looking like a cannabis product.
Today, increased legalization gives businesses the freedom to expand under the radar, so there is no excuse for wasteful packaging to become the industry standard. Glass bottles, Ziploc bags, and excess plastic have reached their limits, not only in terms of environmental friendliness, but also in terms of product integrity.
“I’ve been designing packaging in the cannabis industry since 2013, and many trends have come and gone. We used to put flowers in plastic Rx jars and paper envelopes. In general, there was a lot of waste – all the extra boxes and bottles were thrown away,” he says. legacy Chief Cannabis Officer Ryan Hedrick. “And once consumers take the product out of those containers, the marketing is no longer intact. The box is thrown away and now they just carry around an unlabeled jar. Not only is that bad for the environment, but it’s also bad for the brand. It doesn’t help with advertising at all.”
How to optimize flower curing and shelf life with sustainable storage methods
As for the curing process, Hedrick used to use airtight buckets, but both took up a lot of space and were not at all effective at maintaining ideal humidity levels for cannabis. He has since switched to passive atmospheric packaging, which utilizes an increasingly popular technology with humidity and sustainability in mind. “There was no moisture coming out of the buckets at all. Plus, you can imagine how much space 165 five-gallon buckets would take up in his growing space,” Hedrick says.
The same applies to long-term storage. Using humidity-controlled bags ensures that the humidity level remains the same as soon as the pack is sealed, giving workers peace of mind that the product’s effectiveness will be maintained.
cannabis brands rubber leaf organic relies on passive atmospheric packaging for efficient storage, primarily due to reduced carbon footprint and increased shelf life of terpenes.
“This was an easy decision for us given the energy involved in packaging and transporting a large number of heavy glass bottles compared to TerpLoc bags,” said Tony Martinez, CEO of Lava Leaf Organics.
“The bags are recyclable and have a better shelf life for terpenes compared to child-safe glass jars with lids. By using sustainable packaging, we are doing our best to protect our customers’ brands. It gives you more control over your experience.”
Tips for leveraging sustainable storage
Sustainable storage is an environmentally responsible move for the cannabis industry, but when weighing the pros and cons of such a major switch, operators are concerned about the impact it will have on the final product, consumer experience, and beyond. You also need to be mindful of how much of a positive impact you have. , industry-wide reputation.
Packing your products into eco bags is just the beginning. There are many other tips and tricks that businesses can use to extend the use of sustainable materials and use as little space as possible. For example, Hedrick’s team is reusing passive atmospheric packaging to maximize efficiency, especially during bulk storage and curing.
“We mark every storage bag with the original strain, so you can reuse that bag for the same strain as long as it passes the tests along the way. At that time, everything has been disinfected and I drink a mix of Sanidate and water to make sure it’s clean,” Hedrick said. “This allows you to reuse it for about 3-4 months worth of curing and storage. You can reuse the bucket in the same way, but when you replace it, it costs an additional $15-17. It costs money.”
Sustainable, humidity-controlled packaging is also perfect for testing consistency. If you send the same strain to five buckets to test, you run the risk of them all being at vastly different humidity levels. That means some may pass and others may be trash.
Environmental benefits aside, using sustainable packaging can literally save you pennies. “Basically, I save at least half a million in packaging materials each year. That’s two months’ worth of salaries for all my staff. It’s incredibly effective and a huge savings. It can make a huge difference for businesses looking to expand.”