Eco-friendly marijuana packaging is an important consideration for businesses in any industry. According to a 2014 poll taken by the Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, over half of online consumers were willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive environmental impact. Also, a Hartman Group sustainability study from 2015 showed that 62% of respondents were interested in reading package labels and researching sustainable products. With recycling initiatives and the health of the planet on everyone’s minds, these numbers have certainly increased.

The cannabis industry is in a rapid growth phase. Unfortunately, many packaging options are outdated and environmentally sub-par. Since many cannabis products are currently sold in small, blended plastic containers, cannabis packaging waste is similar to the water bottle crisis. Here are some other aspects of environmental packaging to consider.

Packaging needs to change with the times and society’s growing interest in sustainable solutions. Cannabis businesses, in particular, have a real opportunity to make a difference for the environment and in the minds of their consumers by taking advantage of sustainable packaging opportunities. Here are five excellent strategies for utilizing sustainable cannabis packaging:

Use Your Packaging Wisely

Consider the different packaging materials you’re using with each item you sell. Is there anything nonessential you can eliminate? Less is more when it comes to sustainable packaging, so exploring the ways you can do more with less is a great idea.

For example, instead of including informational inserts about your products, try using foldout packaging that also contains informational material on the inside.

You also might want to consider smaller packaging that uses less material in general. You might find that it takes much less to keep your products secured and presentable than you ever thought. The concept and ultimate goal is simple: the less packaging that is discarded, the less that will eventually end up in a landfill.

Use Recyclable Materials 

Using pure, recyclable materials in your packaging is one of the best ways of ensuring that your packaging ends up reused and repurposed instead of in the trash. It’s important to know that when two or more different types of plastic are blended, that material is no longer recyclable since the layers cannot be separated in sorting.

Many consumers make the mistake of thinking everyday packaging items, such as grocery bags and dog food bags, are recyclable. However, a lot of these materials are too costly for recycling plants to recycle, and they end up right where we don’t want them: in landfills or our oceans.

Recyclable material options for packaging include durable woods, papers, metals, and certain types of pure plastics. Many industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and drink, and auto parts retailers, are moving toward these sustainable packaging options. Utilizing recyclable materials in your cannabis packaging is an integral part of reducing waste created by the cannabis industry.

Support Sea Plastic Initiatives

Littering sends reusable materials into our drains, and eventually, our oceans. Thankfully, sea plastic initiatives are working to combat that. Supporting sea plastic initiatives is a great way to make use of recyclable materials reclaimed from our oceans. Projects such as Ocean Blue and 4Ocean collect plastics from the ocean, and you can recycle them into packaging for your cannabis products.

To take your environmental activism a step further, you can donate to these organizations’ ocean cleanup initiatives, share your support with your customers, and urge them to take action, too. The numbers show that consumers value socially conscious businesses, and your customers will likely appreciate your eco-friendly efforts.

Go for Hemp-based Paper

Another great sustainable packaging alternative is hemp seed paper. Hemp seed paper is tree-friendly and completely biodegradable. Companies such as Green Field Paper Company make all sorts of hemp seed paper materials you can use in cannabis packaging, such as small boxes, business cards, gift card holders, informational tags, and printable adhesive labels.

Hemp seed paper is not the only tree paper alternative that Green Field Paper Company produces. According to their Papermaking webpage, they also use recycled post-consumer pulp and some recycled cotton to make paper. Also, they make their Grow-a-Note plantable handmade paper with a unique wildflower seed blend. They’ve also done custom infusion papers with forget-me-not flowers, grasses, and various other forms of vegetation.

Using hemp and other sustainable papers in your cannabis packaging can save trees and prevents more trash from ending up in landfills. It also gives consumers the biodegradable option they desire from the organizations they give their business to.

Make Your Packaging Reusable

Everyone loves the convenience of products that are multipurpose. Another smart and savvy strategy to consider is packaging that can be reused by the consumer for other needs.

Using packaging that could serve other purposes or accommodate a range of differently shaped items that need storage is a great way to get customers to keep it and reuse it at home instead of throwing it in the trash.

Some examples of commonly reused packaging materials are small boxes, mason jars, paper bags, and bread tags. Packing your products and incorporating multi-purpose materials will show your customers that you consider utility as well as the health of the environment.

Sustainable Marijuana & Hemp Packaging Helps Saves the Seas and Trees

Our society is in the midst of a noticeable cultural shift toward considering sustainable materials and solutions in all aspects of everyday life. Individual consumers are taking eco-responsibility more seriously than ever before, and they want to support businesses that keep environmental health as a top priority.

This is a great thing, but many businesses still have a long way to go. All industries, including the cannabis industry, should consistently consider their footprints. Using sustainable packaging materials is a great place to start, schedule a free consultation for new sustainable marijuana and hemp packaging ideas for 2020.