California cannabis dispensary joins plastics recycling pilot

Airfield Supply Co., CannaCraft and Resynergi partner on the program.

airfield exit bag mockup
A mockup of the plastic packaging collection bags Airfield Supply will provide to customers
Image courtesy of Airfield Supply

Airfield Supply Co., a cannabis dispensary in San Jose, California, has teamed up with cannabis manufacturer CannaCraft and recycling company Resynergi to launch a plastic recycling program for cannabis packaging. Airfield is the first dispensary to join the pilot program to convert plastic child-resistant packaging into the fuel that powers CannaCraft’s Kind House Distribution fleet of delivery vehicles.

Child-resistant packaging is mandatory for cannabis in California but amounts to a significant volume of single-use plastic, including some 2 million single-joint tubes, each of which typically use 1.43 ounces of plastic, Airfield says. Resynergi’s proprietary chemical recycling process recycles the plastic at the molecular level, recapturing energy from up to 5 tons of plastic each day. Each ton of plastic waste produces some 200 gallons of diesel oil that can then be used by Kind House Distribution vehicles, according to a news release about the partnership.

“We are delighted to be the first dispensary to team up with CannaCraft and Resynergi on this project,” says Marc Matulich, CEO of Airfield Supply, which has committed to placing Resynergi recycling bins throughout the dispensary’s footprint and providing customers with Exit Bags they can use to collect and store their end-of-life packaging. “We welcome some 1,300 customers each day, so could conceivably capture as many as 4,000 to 5,000 plastic items before they enter the waste stream daily.”

“Resynergi’s innovative process has changed the way people think about plastic waste and energy while helping the cannabis industry balance important product safety measures with sustainability,” says Ned Fussell, co-founder of CannaCraft, which is based in Sonoma, California. “We’re excited to have an industry-leading dispensary brand like Airfield collaborate with us. I hope that it inspires other dispensaries to do the same. This is absolutely an ‘all hands’ situation.”

“We’re pleased to play a part in the cannabis industry’s efforts to be good stewards of the Earth,” Joshua Tree, California-based Resynergi CEO Brian Bauer says. “It’s exciting to produce something as valuable as fuel from an item destined for the landfill and perhaps, the ocean. We see it as a solid win-win.”

According to the company’s website, it uses energy-efficient, low-emissions pyrolysis to convert traditionally nonrecyclable plastics into profitable fuel and chemical products. “Microwaves power our uniquely designed, compact system,” the company says.

Resynergi makes mobile, modular systems that can be installed at material recovery facilities, adjacent to industrial plants or at refineries.

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