When it comes to packaging cannabis products, the options are as endless as the strains. From tins and boxes to baggies and canisters, cannabis packaging runs the gamut from basic and boring to creative and downright kooky. As cannabis companies strive to stand out among the competition, they may be overlooking an important consumer packaging preference. Studies show that consumers prefer products that are packaged sustainability.
Research reveals that 70% of millennial consumers will pay more for products that are sustainably made, and 83% will consider a product’s environmental or social impact before purchasing. In another study, 92% of consumers reported that sustainable packaging is a very important or moderately important factor in their purchasing decisions.
What is sustainable packaging? According to The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), the criteria of sustainable packaging can be quite broad with many considerations. Sustainability is about more than recycling or composting a used pouch; it is the entire environmental impact of the pouch life cycle. From the energy sources or technologies used in the manufacturing, designing, sourcing, transportation, and disposal of the package to the optimization of using renewable or recycled materials to close the loop.
One of the most sustainable ways to package cannabis is in a pouch. Pouches are sleek, made from barrier film structures that protect the contents and improve shelf-life. Pouches hold more product and create less waste than rigid containers. They are also lighter weight and use less energy to manufacture and ship than tins and jars. All these factors result in a reduced carbon footprint throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Pouches can also be made from compostable or recyclable materials. Markets adopt recycling or composting pouches differently, as infrastructure for collection and processing these options are still in development for large scale handling.
“The cannabis industry embraces a community of environmentally conscious people who care deeply about the health of humans and the plant long term,” Sierra Liggett, product manager for Budpack says. Cannabis products should reflect those values in smart packaging choices.
Although research shows that consumers want sustainable packaging, it is important to remember that they often don’t know what they are looking for until they see it. If you make a sustainable packaging choice for your cannabis products, make sure to advertise it. Liggett suggests that companies incorporate branding and information to educate their customers on the sustainable features of their product directly on the packaging.
If your package is recyclable or compostable, print a link or code with instructions on how to dispose of the package properly. This contributes to the infrastructures growing to handle recyclable or compostable pouches and protects the recycling and compostable streams available. Pouches work well because they can be printed with vibrant colors and graphics to help advertise a brand’s conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint with their packaging selection.
“Sustainable packaging doesn’t always cost more. For example, pouches win as a cost-effective alternative to glass, boxes, and tins,” Liggett says. If you are interested in learning more about sustainable packaging solutions for cannabis products, contact a packaging specialist at Budpack today.