Cannabis package recycling rolled out Canada-wide

Cannabis users left with a mountain of waste from pot packaging can now drop it off at two London dispensaries to be recycled under a free program launched by Canada’s biggest marijuana company on Earth Day.

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Marijuana, including this product ordered from the Ontario Cannabis Store, can now be recycled through a program organized by Tweed, a subsidiary of major producer Canopy Growth. MICHEL COMTE / AFP/Getty Images

Cannabis users left with a mountain of waste from pot packaging can now drop it off at two London dispensaries to be recycled under a free program launched by Canada’s biggest marijuana company on Earth Day.

Tweed, a subsidiary of Smiths Falls-based cannabis producer Canopy Growth, partnered with TerraCycle, an American recycling company, to introduce the first Canada-wide cannabis packaging recycling program, the companies announced Monday.

Many cannabis consumers have long complained about the packaging that ends up in the landfill as a result of Health Canada’s rules requiring pot producers to package products in tamper-proof and child-resistant containers that prevent contamination.

The packaging can be deposited at J. London at 691 Richmond St. and Central Cannabis at 666 Wonderland Rd., two of the more than 100 bricks-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets participating in the program.

Tweed will also serve as a drop-off location when it opens in the coming weeks at 1025 Wellington Rd. S., a company spokesperson said.

Additionally, recreational and medical marijuana users can register at tweed.com/recycle to have their discarded packaging — including tins, joint tubes, plastic bottles, plastic caps and flexible plastic bags — shipped to TerraCycle for free.

“It’s important as an industry leader to really set the tone for the rest of the businesses and individuals that choose to purchase cannabis,” said Shega Youngson, Canopy’s community engagement manager.

“We wanted to provide a service to anyone who is operating with a licence in the industry and anyone who purchases legal cannabis from a licensed producer.”

More than 165,000 containers have been diverted from landfills since a limited version of the recycling program was rolled out on Oct. 17, when Canada became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana. The plastic collected will be melted down into pellets and used to make things like picnic tables and benches.

“Through this ground-breaking recycling solution, these now-common items are collected on a national scale from all licensed producers and given a second life as a different product, thereby extending the lifecycle of the packaging material.” TerraCycle chief executive Tom Szaky said in a release.

Since its founding 15 years ago, TerraCycle has racked up hundreds of awards for forging partnerships with companies and cities to recycle packages and products, ranging for soiled diapers to discarded cigarette butts, that would otherwise end up in landfills or be incinerated.

dcarruthers@postmedia.com


What can be recycled?

Outer packaging, inner packaging, tins, joint tubes, plastic bottles, plastic caps and flexible plastic bags from any Canadian licensed producers

How?

Drop it off at J. London, 691 Richmond St., or Central Cannabis, 666 Wonderland Rd.

To mail the packaging, register at tweed.com/recycle and download a free UPS label

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