Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., Winnipeg, has announced that it has partnered with Ontario-based Emterra Environmental and Canadian cannabis producers to create a recycling program for cannabis packaging and disposable vape pens designed to help the Canadian cannabis industry transition to a circular economy.
The new program will have two components. The first provides customers with a convenient option for the recycling of cannabis packaging similar to that used in Canada’s Blue Box Program. The second focuses on landfill diversion and uses technology to recycle disposable vape cartridges and vape pens. The program will accept cannabis packaging, disposable vape pens and vape cartridges from every licensed producer, regardless of brand.
“At Delta 9 Cannabis we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot says. “Our employees have always been committed to producing the highest quality cannabis products for our customers, and we are proud to be a leader in setting the same high-quality standard for our recycling program. 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 labeled “Flower—Recycling” or “Vapes—Landfill Diversion.” Both boxes will be easily recognizable and also will feature the logos of the partners and pioneers of the program. 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,” Paulina Leung, vice president of corporate strategy and business development at Emterra Group, says. “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 Ontario, where postconsumer plastics are processed into engineered resin products as part of the Canadian circular economy supply chain. All of the waste in the program will be processed within Canada.
“We hold ourselves and our partners to a high standard,” Arbuthnot says. “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 range of plastic products including automotive parts, consumer products packaging and future cannabis packaging.
With regards to vape pens and cartridges, Delta says 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.
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 a waste to energy facility for processing.
“We’re looking forward to analyzing the different types of cannabis packaging found in this recycling program,” Leung says. “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 industrywide solution to properly address the waste that we’re producing as a whole,” Marshall Posner, chief marketing officer at Delta 9, says. “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.”