The world of the cannabis industry is an exciting one, offering a wide array of opportunities and experiences to both businesses and consumers alike. Many of us find ourselves excited at new strains, unique edibles and other products we had never even dreamed of before. Buying cannabis left and right, our horizons have never been as wide or as accessible as they are now. That said, as we find ourselves on the other side of our purchase, many of us find us asking ourselves; what do I do with all these jars?
While obviously not limited to just the glass jars we buy and sell our 8ths in, we find ourselves in a bit of a situation as we examine the amount of waste the packaging of cannabis can produce. Glass Jars, Mylar bags and cardboard boxes, to name a few, accumulate to a concerning amount of trash. The question that is asked, then, is how can we of the industry work to help mitigate the waste created by the industry.
A perspective we’d like to focus on is reaching the customer on a level of engagement and a form of education. There is a decent amount of packaging that cannot be directly recycled, but that doesn’t mean they need to end up in a landfill. There are creative uses for the wide array of packaging forms that might turn them from trash to delightful life hacks around the cannabis user’s home. Cannabis retailers and producers might do well to help facilitate their customers in doing this through fun DIY suggestions pertaining to the products they sell, helping not only the large scale issue at hand, but also allowing them to engage their customers on a community level. Some companies are ahead of this curve, and have begun to even incorporate these reuse features into packaging themselves. The Margarita Chill edible gummy brand, for example, encourages their customers to utilize their packaging as pre-roll storage after being emptied. By this built-in reuse function, the company has helped take a step towards this reuse paradigm, helping reduce waste in landfills.
The glass jars containing eighths and quarters of flower pose likely the most abundant source of packaging in the industry, though also likely offers the easiest solutions to their re-use. Aesthetically appealing, useful in size, and relatively more durable than the rest of the cannabis packaging, the jar can have a plethora of uses around a customer’s house. As such,the following examples of how to reuse such jars offers a useful jumping off point for ways to reach customers with DIY hacks.
The most obvious use of the jar, and not particularly far from the original design, the jars allow us another vessel to hold any number of household items, including hair ties, cotton swabs, loose buttons, or anything else that will fit in the jar. The Jars, already designed for aesthetic appeal, allow a fun, canna-chic form of storage.
For the crafty, pinterest-inspired cannabis customers among us, the glass jars allow a perfect receptacle for homemade, DIY candles. Even for those who haven't tackled the candlemaker’s trade, now’s a perfect time to try a new hobby. Great for weddings and events, one can even avoid the screw top image with bits of twine or hemp rope wrapped around the top.
For the more culinarily inclined among us, the jars offer wonderful storage for homemade frozen treats, including any form of ice cream or soft serve. Dispensaries might even include a fun recipe for their customers, medicated or otherwise.
From one plant to another, we can re-use our jars as small vases and planters. Whether for a holder for a breakfast-in-bed bouquet or for planting a small succulent, the plants will thrive in the jar. From one kind of green to another, the jar remains a cradle of life.
The ideas above allow us a jumping off point into how we can reduce the waste we create as an industry. Different packaging forms offer different obstacles, but also new opportunities for reactive reuse. Mylar bags offer reusable containers and perhaps new materials for DIY wallets, while the plastic pop-top containers used for grams and eighths can find new lives in helping organize your cabinet or serve as travel containers of vitamins. The important step, though, in this process is the role of cannabis companies, offering and encouraging the reuse of the packaging through customer engagement.