It’s said a rising tide lifts all boats, which is certainly true of the fast-growing cannabis market. The market has led to a boom in related packaging — one report valued the maijuana packaging market at $101 billion in 2020 and growing at a CAGR of 22.6% through 2026.
Appropriately, Sana Packaging is ensuring its plastic packaging options ride that tide using reclaimed ocean plastic anchored to a circular economy.
The company introduced in January the cannabis industry's first jars from reclaimed ocean plastic: the Sana Ocean Jar 4.
"We're really excited about the Sana Ocean Jar 4,” says Co-Founder & CEO, Ron Basak-Smith. “It's our first 100% reclaimed ocean plastic jar and the first jar we're producing in-house. The Sana Ocean Jar 4 was designed to be used in conjunction with the Sana Ocean Screw-Top Lid and is compatible with all 53-400 closures."
Made in the USA, the new Sana Ocean Ocean Jar 4 is certified child-resistant, #2 (high-density polyethylene, HDPE) recyclable, holds a 4-oz volume and fits up to 7g of product. It’s designed for flower, edibles, and topicals and is available for pre-order. Sana Packaging also offers custom printing and labeling.
The announcement follows the company's late 2020 introduction of a new and improved 100% reclaimed ocean plastic pre-roll tube. While it’s the third product in the tube line, the company “reduced the material use by 25% while providing customers with a 30% cost savings,” according to Basak-Smith.
The new Sana Ocean Tube 116 is fully recyclable, child-resistant certified, made in the USA, features a new pop-top design, and is perfect for king-size pre-rolls, blunts, and vape pens. Sana Packaging offers custom printing and labeling; the products are available for pre-order.
Heading in a circular direction.
The company aims to transition cannabis packaging away from a linear "take-make-dispose" economic model towards a circular economic model meant to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. Its goal is to make real the concept of a circular economy and is accounting for the negative externalities of packaging waste so that they can serve as an example of a way businesses can drive positive change.
"With the help of our incredible customers, Sana Packaging has already removed more than 58 tons or 116,000 pounds of plastic waste from our oceans,” says Basak-Smith, adding that the average car weighs about 2 tons or 4,000 pounds.
“The Sana Ocean Jar 4 went into production in December 2020 and customers began placing orders for this product before the end of the year,” says James Eichner, the company’s co-founder and CSO. “I'm not certain you can find these products in dispensaries today, but they will certainly be hitting retail shelves in the coming weeks.”
The cannabis packaging vendor sources the 100% reclaimed ocean plastic from Oceanworks, a global marketplace for reclaimed ocean plastic materials.
“One of the biggest value-adds Oceanworks provides is the verification that we're sourcing pure materials,” Eichner points out. “We currently use a 100% reclaimed ocean plastic high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and a 100% reclaimed ocean plastic polypropylene (PP), depending on the product.”
It’s not the company’s only recent package introduction. In December 2020, it launched a third 100% reclaimed ocean plastic pre-roll tube: the Sana Ocean Tube 116.
"As we continue to see a global increase in single-use packaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, we're proud to have already removed more than 58 tons or 116,000 pounds of plastic waste from our oceans,” says Basak-Smith.
Business has been booming. “We've had incredible traction with our reclaimed ocean plastic products since we launched our first reclaimed ocean plastic pre-roll tube, the Sana Ocean Tube 110, in 2019,” Eichner reports. “We now have five reclaimed ocean plastic cannabis packaging products and our reclaimed ocean plastic products account for around 60% of our sales. For reference, our other three products are made from 100% plant-based hemp plastic. We're currently working with more than 400 customers across North America.”
The company assists brands in developing the proper on-packaging messaging.
“We do everything we can to help our customer partners integrate their choice to use sustainable packaging with their marketing efforts and brand stories,” Eichner says. “In fact, when we onboard new customers we provide them with a Customer Marketing Toolkit. We're big believers in producer responsibility and we believe it's a fallacy to put the responsibility of making sustainable decisions on consumers. That's one of the reasons it's so important for us to help our customer partners amplify our collective choice to use sustainable packaging. To bring more awareness to the materials we use, every Sana Packaging product calls out the material type being used and the proper means of disposal for that material.”
It's all part of the company’s mission to move the needle from a linear to circular model, according to Eichner. “Our ultimate goal is to transition cannabis packaging away from a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economic model and towards a circular economic model that's meant to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate our natural systems.”