The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

‘Green’ solution for excessive cannabis packaging a hit with Penticton consumers

Tweed/Terracycle recycling program for cannabis products well-used, well-received by consumers.

Across the board, one of the biggest complaints that licensed cannabis shops in Penticton receive is that the packaging of products is excessive and unnecessary.

Issues such as plastic containers inside boxes remain a talking point when customers go to purchase a product, and some managers say it sometimes turns customers away.

Cannabis suppliers across the country are required by law to present the correct labels and warnings on their products, which takes up space and creates excess packaging.

However, an initiative by a cannabis supplier in Canada has allowed shops across Canada to go green.

Since before shops started to open in the Okanagan, Terracycle, a private U.S. recycling business, partnered with Tweed, a cannabis supplier based out of Ontario, to recycle any and all cannabis packaging purchased from a licensed retailer. Aside from some vape-related products, the program accepts many forms of packaging including outer plastic packaging, inner plastic packaging, tins, joint tubes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, and flexible plastic bags.

READ MORE: Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

The program accepts products from both individuals and retail partners in every province except the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

Locally, cardboard Terracycle bins can be seen near the front counter of licensed retail shops. Once a bin is full, retailers package the waste into a box and send it to Terracycle via UPS, where the packaging and plastic is broken down and refurbished into new products.

The four licensed stores in Penticton are among approximately 450 other cannabis stores in partnership with Terracycle.

Spiritleaf owner Matt Bolton said so far, they have shipped approximately 18-20 bins worth of recycled products since they opened in August.

“Packaging has been… one of the biggest complaints that we hear here in the legal market,” he said. “The fact that we do offer that program, we’ve offered it pretty much since the first week of opening; that has been great.”

The Terracycle program accepts most things except for some vaping products such as the batteries and cartridges, however Spiritleaf has taken it upon themselves to offer recycling of this product.

“We’ve basically taken it on ourselves where we said, we’ll hold onto it all, until it’s figured out where they are going to go, and then we will dispose of it properly,” said Bolton.

Cannabis Cottage supervisor Corey Young said the reactions from customers when they find out about the recycling program are very positive. He stated one of the main complaints they receive is also about packaging.

“There is a lot of excess packaging,” he said. “And unfortunately a lot of the companies are slow to come out with new versions. So in the meantime, I believe it’s (Terracycle) essential.”

Although he couldn’t confirm an exact amount, Young estimated they have collected about 800 packages from customers in the past month.

“I think other companies should follow Tweed’s lead in creating their own recycling programs as well,” he said.

In October, the Tweed/TerraCycle program announced the collection of over one million pieces of used cannabis packaging from across the nation, recycling over 22,000 pounds of plastic containers, tubes, and bottles.

Bud-tender at Greenery Cannabis Boutique, Geoffrey Small, said customers seem relieved when they find out what Tweed and Terracycle are doing to help mitigate the issue of excess packaging.

Although some companies package less than other, Green Gaia Cannabis Co. manager Katerina Bakalos said the recycling program is a great service to have, and well-received by customers. So far, Green Gaia has collected thousands of product packages.

In conversations with some licenced producers, Bakalos understands that changes are coming with regards to packaging. This, she explained, is the focus for several producers, now that the 2.0 products, or edibles and concentrates, are on the shelves. In late December, retailers around Canada, including Penticton, started to receive 2.0 cannabis products.

“I’m sure once a few of the producers do it (repackaging), it’s going to start a domino effect,” said Bakalos. “Because I do believe, some of the packaging, people won’t buy it (because) it’s too thick of plastic or too big a box, that kind of thing.”

“Plastic containers within a box, it’s almost like double-packaging.”

Looking forward, all shops expressed their excitement as their first full summer season approaches.

READ MORE: Gap between cost of legal and illegal cannabis keeps growing: Stats Canada

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

The Tweed/Terracycle program has been well-received by consumers in Penticton. Concerns that the packaging of cannabis products is excessive and unnecessary is one of the largest complaints heard by licensed retailers in the Okanagan town. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Cannabis Cottage supervisor Corey Young said the reactions from customers when they find out about the recycling program are very positive.

Cannabis Cottage supervisor Corey Young said the reactions from customers when they find out about the recycling program are very positive.

Just Posted

Sickle Point as seen from the air. (Kaleden Community Association - David Mai)
Second town hall for Sickle Point on Jan. 27

The first town hall was cut short due to technical issues

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

The facility in Summerland has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health funds 75 of the beds. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Six more months for temporary Summerland Seniors Village adminstrator

The temporary administrator was appointed following site visits and concerns from Interior Health

Penticton’s 7-Eleven is closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, the company announced Jan. 15, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton 7-Eleven closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The store will re-open “on or before” Jan. 23

Real estate sales in the South Okanagan grew by more than any other part of the province in 2020. (Marissa Tiel - Black Press)
South Okanagan fastest growing real estate market in B.C.

There was over $1 billion in residential sales in 2020

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media/FILE)
Vehicle found abandoned after fleeing Kelowna RCMP, avoiding spike belt

Police believed at the time vehicle was tied to alleged shooting in West Kelowna

West Kelowna RCMP are investigating reports of gunfire in the 1700-block of Ross Road. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating reports of gunfire

West Kelowna RCMP said the incident occurred on Jan. 14

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

With a second case of COVID-19 confirmed at South Canoe Elementary, parents were advised Thursday, Jan. 14, that the school could be closed for a week or so. (Contributed)
Closure considered after four cases of COVID-19 identified at Salmon Arm school

South Canoe Elementary principal grateful for concern and support shown by public

Most Read