The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

‘Green’ solution for excessive cannabis packaging a hit with Okanagan consumers

Tweed/Terracycle recycling program for cannabis products well-used, well-received by consumers.

Across the board, one of the biggest complaints that licensed cannabis shops in Penticton receive is that the packaging of products is excessive and unnecessary.

Issues such as plastic containers inside boxes remain a talking point when customers go to purchase a product, and some managers say it sometimes turns customers away.

Cannabis suppliers across the country are required by law to present the correct labels and warnings on their products, which takes up space and creates excess packaging.

However, an initiative by a cannabis supplier in Canada has allowed shops across Canada to go green.

Since before shops started to open in the Okanagan, Terracycle, a private U.S. recycling business, partnered with Tweed, a cannabis supplier based out of Ontario, to recycle any and all cannabis packaging purchased from a licensed retailer. Aside from some vape-related products, the program accepts many forms of packaging including outer plastic packaging, inner plastic packaging, tins, joint tubes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, and flexible plastic bags.

READ MORE: Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

The program accepts products from both individuals and retail partners in every province except the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

Locally, cardboard Terracycle bins can be seen near the front counter of licensed retail shops. Once a bin is full, retailers package the waste into a box and send it to Terracycle via UPS, where the packaging and plastic is broken down and refurbished into new products.

The four licensed stores in Penticton are among approximately 450 other cannabis stores in partnership with Terracycle.

Spiritleaf owner Matt Bolton said so far, they have shipped approximately 18-20 bins worth of recycled products since they opened in August.

“Packaging has been… one of the biggest complaints that we hear here in the legal market,” he said. “The fact that we do offer that program, we’ve offered it pretty much since the first week of opening; that has been great.”

The Terracycle program accepts most things except for some vaping products such as the batteries and cartridges, however Spiritleaf has taken it upon themselves to offer recycling of this product.

“We’ve basically taken it on ourselves where we said, we’ll hold onto it all, until it’s figured out where they are going to go, and then we will dispose of it properly,” said Bolton.

Cannabis Cottage supervisor Corey Young said the reactions from customers when they find out about the recycling program are very positive. He stated one of the main complaints they receive is also about packaging.

“There is a lot of excess packaging,” he said. “And unfortunately a lot of the companies are slow to come out with new versions. So in the meantime, I believe it’s (Terracycle) essential.”

Although he couldn’t confirm an exact amount, Young estimated they have collected about 800 packages from customers in the past month.

“I think other companies should follow Tweed’s lead in creating their own recycling programs as well,” he said.

In October, the Tweed/TerraCycle program announced the collection of over one million pieces of used cannabis packaging from across the nation, recycling over 22,000 pounds of plastic containers, tubes, and bottles.

Bud-tender at Greenery Cannabis Boutique, Geoffrey Small, said customers seem relieved when they find out what Tweed and Terracycle are doing to help mitigate the issue of excess packaging.

Although some companies package less than other, Green Gaia Cannabis Co. manager Katerina Bakalos said the recycling program is a great service to have, and well-received by customers. So far, Green Gaia has collected thousands of product packages.

In conversations with some licenced producers, Bakalos understands that changes are coming with regards to packaging. This, she explained, is the focus for several producers, now that the 2.0 products, or edibles and concentrates, are on the shelves. In late December, retailers around Canada, including Penticton, started to receive 2.0 cannabis products.

“I’m sure once a few of the producers do it (repackaging), it’s going to start a domino effect,” said Bakalos. “Because I do believe, some of the packaging, people won’t buy it (because) it’s too thick of plastic or too big a box, that kind of thing.”

“Plastic containers within a box, it’s almost like double-packaging.”

Looking forward, all shops expressed their excitement as their first full summer season approaches.

READ MORE: Gap between cost of legal and illegal cannabis keeps growing: Stats Canada

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Cannabis Cottage supervisor Corey Young said the reactions from customers when they find out about the recycling program are very positive.

Just Posted

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate from home

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

LETTER: Plants help enhance Summerland

Summerland Public Works has added to beautification

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

B.C. health minister applauds Kelowna Mayor, council for COVID-19 outbreak response

‘I think they are a model of how we respond’ - said Health Minister Adrian Dix

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Vernon social justice group rallies to raise awareness for human trafficking victims

Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of Canadian population, 50 per cent of trafficking victims

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Most Read