In the hope that consumers will stop throwing out bulky but potentially recyclable cannabis product packaging, one West Seattle marijuana store has announced an incentive program to get customers to give them their trash.
Canna West Seattle owner Maryam Minateghi has instituted a program for clients who wish to bring in their marijuana packaging trash. It’s a deal — especially since she doesn’t even care if the trash came from her stores.
“We don’t think this is something only we should do, but we are really hoping to start the conversation,” Minateghi told a local publication. “We are really hoping to create a better connection between the cannabis industry and the environment in general.”
Washington state’s problem with cannabis packaging pollution was documented by the Washington Post in August, when the paper published an article that addressed the doob tubes and Mylar bags that have been found bobbing in the Puget Sound.
“The historical cannabis community is environmentalist, but green rushers aren’t, necessarily,” the president of the Cannabis Alliance, Danielle Rosellion, told the publication at the time.
Many think that cannabis regulators have gone overboard with packaging regulations in the interest of protecting kids who may be otherwise exposed to the products.
In April, parent and cannabis user Danielle Simone Brand wrote an op-ed that focused on defusing the myth that safe kids means environmentally unsafe cannabis packaging. In it, she advocated for parents taking responsibility for teaching kids about which substances they should stay away from — and not relying on governmental guidelines to do the work for them.
“Treat them like capable and intelligent people,” wrote Simone Brand. “No packaging solution can ever take the place of that.”
She’s not the only one who does not see the excess of plastic as our best option for marijuana goods. In Canada, critics have been vocal about their dissatisfaction over such unnecessary waste. In the face of such concerns, the British Columbia government recently announced a policy shift that will make it possible for cannabis stores to sell their wares in reusable packaging.
In California, CannaCraft has taken seriously the challenge to become more environmentally friendly. The company now seals its vape cartridges before sale, a change that company representatives say saves a stack of child-resistant tubes that would stand 30 times taller than Mount Everest.
Such individual actions do add up. But until regulations shift to take our stability-challenged ecosystems into account, in West Seattle consumers now have an option to take the guesswork out of which cannabis packaging can be recycled.
At Canna Culture shop, news cameras captured a man who had brought in CBD drink bottles, half of which he said he had purchased in another dispensary. Mirnateghi says that he’s far from the only cannabis consumer who is taking advantage of the collection drop-off.
“The response to the program has been fantastic,” said Mirnateghi. “We have only been doing this for a few days now and already we’ve captured a lot of recyclable materials and a lot of attention. I think we’ve collected enough recyclables to fill a small closet.”