Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In sticking with an ever-present theme of being on the cutting edge of everything, there is increasing interest in more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the cannabis industry, as there should be. There are new approaches and resources emerging everyday to help reduce organic waste and create alternative solutions to compliant packaging which can generate a huge amount of plastic waste. To emphasize the importance of sustainability, Denver Environmental Health has created a Cannabis Sustainability group (link below).
Here at PhytaTech we are taking steps to be conscious of the impact we are making on our planet. Some of the small steps we have taken recently include switching to recycled paper towels as well as biodegradable nitrile gloves (they are cheaper than the regular nitrile gloves we were using and they are the color green!). We also recycle over 2 cubic yards of recyclables every 2 weeks! We would like to encourage our clients to take whatever steps they can to reduce waste without breaking the bank.
We feel that one area this could be achieved is in the way you package samples to be sent to the lab. This also helps us with storage space as we are required to retain samples in a secure storage for at least 3 months past their manifest date. Below are photo examples of some ways to submit samples that would reduce both plastic waste and storage space. If possible, see if you can source biodegradable plastic bags/containers where you can. Also, feel free to make sure we give you back your child proof bags or boxes that you bring your samples in. These go right into the recycling waste stream as we don’t normally have the need for outgoing packaging materials.
Here are some other resources to help guide you in becoming a truly green business! As always, give us a call with any questions or other suggestions/resources to help you with your sustainability goals:
Denver Environmental Health Cannabis Sustainability Website
A Lab Manager’s Guide to Sustainable Lab Practices from the publication, Lab Manager
Biodegradable nitrile gloves
I encourage you all to look into other resources that are more relevant and tailored to your particular business needs such as the recent article in Marijuana Venture Magazine (December 2017) about using Bokashi, a completely natural way to reduce, reuse and recycle organic waste by a method of acidic anaerobic fermentation.
Some of these may seem like small steps but if everyone takes a few small steps, in time, together we can make a very big impact!
Remember, we can have a profitable industry as well as do our part to save the environment. If you have any sampling or packaging questions, call or email today!