WINNIPEG, MB – If you’ve ever wondered how to recycle vape cartridges, you’re not alone. While the available options are still far from perfect, some Canadian cannabis companies are taking the issue seriously. Delta 9 Cannabis has a plan to reduce landfill waste and spearhead an industry-wide move toward sustainable packaging. The company has partnered with one of Canada’s leading recycling companies, Emterra Environmental, and a number of leading Canadian cannabis producers, to create a recycling program for cannabis packaging and a landfill diversion program for vape cartridges and pens.
The new program will have two components. The first provides customers with a convenient option for the recycling of cannabis packaging (similar to the well-known Blue Box Program). The second focuses on landfill diversion and uses the best technology currently available for the recycling of disposable vape cartridges and vape pens.
“At Delta 9 Cannabis we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot. “Some of Canada’s top Licensed Producers are partnering with us on this initiative including Tweed, 7ACRES, High Park, FIGR, and Sundial.”
Customers can bring their empty cannabis containers, packaging, disposable vapes and vape cartridges to any Delta 9 retail location and deposit these materials in boxes labelled FLOWER – Recycling or VAPES – Landfill Diversion. Customers are encouraged to place their vape cartridges into plastic bags before putting them into the Landfill Diversion box. Vape pens can be placed in the box as is.
“In Canada, we have the tools and the knowledge to make a big change in the cannabis industry when it comes to dealing with packaging and vape products,” said Paulina Leung, VP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Emterra Group. “We are honored to partner with Delta 9 to create a Canadian solution to this growing yet solvable problem.”
Once the FLOWER Recycling Box is filled, it will be picked up and delivered to ReVital Polymers’ plastics recycling facility in Sarnia, Ontario, where post-consumer plastics are processed into engineered resin products as part of the growing Canadian circular economy supply chain. All of the waste in the program will be responsibly processed within Canada. There will be no shipping of waste to developing countries.
“Hopefully, this program will be the spark that ignites this responsible initiative across the country. If you’re a cannabis company producing any kind of waste packaging and products, when it comes to recycling and sustainability, you have an environmental and social responsibility to be part of the solution.”
“We hold ourselves and our partners to a high standard,” said Arbuthnot. “It was important to us to know that all the materials are being recycled and processed in Canada.”
The first step in the recycling process is to sort the plastics into individual types so they can be processed. They are then washed to remove any impurities, labels or adhesives, shredded into small pieces and extruded into pellets. These pellets are used to make a vast range of plastic products including automotive parts, consumer products packaging and hopefully, future cannabis packaging.
When it comes to vape pens and cartridges, the best solution that currently exists is to ensure that the pen is recycled with other electrical and electronic equipment and cartridges are diverted from landfill. At present, there are no technologies that allow for the complete recycling of vape cartridges in North America. Currently, if someone throws a vape pen or cartridge in the garbage, it’s going directly to a landfill, which is the worst possible outcome.
At Emterra Environmental’s partner electronics recycling facility, the vape pens will be separated from the cartridges for processing. The vape pens will then be processed to recover the battery, plastic, and metal. The cartridges are managed as a special waste and are sent to an energy from waste facility for processing.
“We’re looking forward to analyzing the different types of cannabis packaging found in this recycling program,” said Leung. “This will allow us to help licensed producers optimize their packaging design decisions and make their packaging more recyclable and sustainable.”
“Ultimately, every Canadian cannabis company will choose to utilize packaging materials that are recyclable and participate in an industry-wide solution to properly address the waste that we’re producing as a whole,” said Marshall Posner, Chief Marketing Officer at Delta 9. “Hopefully, this program will be the spark that ignites this responsible initiative across the country. If you’re a cannabis company producing any kind of waste packaging and products, when it comes to recycling and sustainability, you have an environmental and social responsibility to be part of the solution. We’re doing our best to make sure all our brand partners are part of this program. In the future, Delta 9 would love to have every Canadian cannabis company join us in this initiative.”