Why Packaging copy.png
 

Waste recovery is one of the largest challenges we have to face on our path towards a more circular economy, and packaging is the largest challenge facing waste recovery. 

 Science Advances,  Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made , 2017 Philosophical Transactions B,  Plastics Recycling: Challenges and Opportunities , 2009

Science Advances, Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made, 2017
Philosophical Transactions B, Plastics Recycling: Challenges and Opportunities, 2009

We have created over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since we began mass-producing plastics in the 1950s. Of these 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. And of these 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic, only 9% has been recycled while 79% has ended up in our landfills and natural environment. If we don’t address this problem, by 2050 there will be over 12 billion metric tons of plastic polluting our landfills and natural environment.

 EPA,  Advancing Sustainable Materials Management Report , 2016

EPA, Advancing Sustainable Materials Management Report, 2016

About 50% of the plastics we create are for disposable products, like packaging. These products typically become trash within a single year of production and can take 400+ years to degrade. 

Packaging also accounts for 30% of our municipal solid waste in the United States. For reference, durable goods and nondurable goods are the next largest categories, both at 20%. Furthermore, only 40% of packaging waste is recovered while 60% is landfilled.

Why Cannabis.png
 
Cannabis Packaging

Due to strict packaging regulations, most cannabis packaging is made from plastic. Regulatory requirements like the ASTM child-resistance certification make it difficult to use other materials. 

The cannabis industry will be a 20-40 billion dollar industry by 2020. This means that on the low end the cannabis industry will also be generating over 1 billion units of single-use plastic packaging waste per year by 2020. 

Here are some things to keep in mind regarding cannabis packaging. First, most recycling facilities don’t accept cannabis packaging even if it’s recyclable because cannabis isn’t federally legal. Second, the largest secondary market for recycled plastics is for non-colored plastics, like plastic #1 (PET) and plastic #2 (HDPE). Regulations require cannabis packaging to be opaque and most cannabis packaging is colored plastic #5 (PP), meaning there is largely no secondary market for it. 

Why Bioplastic.png
 
Sana_Bowl5_RGB.jpg

In order to transition to a more circular economy, we need to use restorative and regenerative materials to make disposable products, like packaging. 

Due to packaging regulations across a wide range of industries, we also need to use materials with many of the same qualities as traditional  plastics. 

Bioplastics have the same qualities as traditional plastics and are made from plant-based biomass from a wide range of crops, including hemp, corn, and kenaf. 

Hemp Field
Why Hemp copy.png

Hemp is both restorative and regenerative. With its rapid growth cycle, hardiness, and versatility, hemp provides maximum benefit with minimal impact on the environment.

Landfill
Waste Recovery

Waste recovery is the largest challenge facing the success of bioplastic packaging materials. Waste recovery is a complicated and highly contextual challenge.