1. Dispensary uses packaging to fuel cannabis manufacturer’s deliveries.
San Jose, CA-based Airfield Supply, which bills itself as the largest single-site cannabis dispensary in California, is using the annual 420 (April 20) cannabis-celebration day to promote an innovative cannabis-packaging recycling program that began in November 2020.
Airfield is asking its customers to bring their clean cannabis-packaging plastic waste to the dispensary for recycling and in return receive a coupon which, together with 10 cents, is redeemable for a “420 special product.” A minimum $25 purchase is also required. Products offered in the promotion include infused beverages, gummies, vape cartridges, pre-rolls, and more.
“This is the core campaign we are focusing on this 420 season, so we are using all of our communication channels to drive awareness and engagement across email, social, in-store media, and through budtenders,” says Chris Lane, chief marketing officer at Airfield Supply. “Every customer will be engaged on the topic, which we hope is more than 15,000 people in a matter of days who can take action on their next visit.”
The hope is that this “action” could become a recycling habit. Lane adds, “We’re using the 420 cannabis ‘holiday’ to motivate and engage with our customers by offering them 10-cent products in exchange for their trash. Our hope is that this starts a pattern that will continue.”
Airfield is the first dispensary to partner with cannabis manufacturer CannaCraft and plastics upcycler Resynergi on the pilot program, in which plastic from used cannabis packaging is converted into diesel fuel.
When Airfield customers leave the dispensary with their purchases, they receive a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) pouch for storage of used cannabis packaging. When they return to the dispensary, they drop the recyclable pouch into a black-and-white Resynergi recycling bin. CannaCraft picks up the recycled materials each week when dropping off new cannabis products for the dispensary.
Resynergi uses an energy-efficient, low-emissions pyrolysis process to convert the plastic packaging into diesel fuel, which is then used by CannaCraft to power its delivery vehicles. Resynergi can convert one ton of waste into about 200 gallons of diesel fuel.
“We take high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene — types 2, 4, and 5,” says Brian Bauer, CEO of Resynergi. “We plan to take low-density PE in the form of films like bags, which is new to the industry.”
Airfield has recycled hundreds of pounds of packaging waste so far. Waste from all cannabis brands is accepted, and plastic waste from CannaCraft’s manufacturing operation is also used in Resynergi’s pyrolysis operation.
For dispensaries, creating opportunities for package recycling and upcycling “couldn’t be more important,” Lane says. “Given that we’re centered on a plant, it only seems natural and correct that our approach be gentle to the Earth and thoughtful about the environment. As a successful dispensary in a large state with very few dispensaries, we’re in a unique position to help shape the industry. We can stop cannabis packaging plastics from flooding our landfills — and we should. It’s that simple.”