As the climate crisis looms large, the cannabis and hemp industries have begun to take a look at their collective plastic footprint.

The “plastic problem” for cannabis has many factors at play. The majority of legal marketplaces require extra packaging in order to meet child-proof standards. Other issues include compliance, as each individual package is often required to be “sealed” at the time of purchase, so it is incompatible with reusable jars. As a regulated good that attempts new ways of recycling, it is even more challenging as only a portion of the materials can be recycled (cannabis-touching tech is labeled as “medical waste”).

Cannabis is not alone in this sustainability dilemma. In a comprehensive 2018 environmental study, the first of its kind looking at global plastic waste, data found that humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. It is estimated that 79% of plastic made each year is not recycled, with 6.3 billion metric tons ending up in landfills. The study estimates that by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills.

Mana Artisan Botanics, a CBD producer based in Kona, Hawaii, recently started a campaign to inspire companies in the hemp and cannabis industries to fight climate change. Mana has become the first “plastic-negative” CBD company in the United States, as it is the very first CBD company to partner with rePurpose Global. The organization created a “One for One Impact Guarantee Program,” which means companies are removing more plastic from the Earth than they are contributing to it.

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