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The CULTA Blog

How to Recycle, Repurpose, & Upcycle Your Cannabis Packaging

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How to Recycle, Repurpose, & Upcycle Your Cannabis Packaging

Did you know 18 to 29-year-olds are currently the largest group of cannabis consumers in the United States? Millennials and Zoomers are also the most sustainability-focused group who, for better or for worse, pay close attention to their carbon and waste footprint. So, if you find yourself consuming cannabis but feeling guilty about the waste, you’re not alone. This World Recycling Day (3/18), you can make a conscious effort to recycle, repurpose, and upcycle your cannabis packaging with these ideas. 

A starter home for your plant babies

Whether you’re new to gardening or have a certified green thumb, many gardeners prefer to start their seeds in smaller, indoor homes before transplanting them to a larger, outdoor garden. With a little TLC, cannabis containers can be the perfect starter home for your fruits and veggies. Simply clean them out, drain a hole in the bottom for drainage, fill with soil, and place one seed in the soil. Continue to water the seed, make sure to give it the right amount of sun, and be prepared to transplant when sizable. Rinse and repeat until you have the backyard produce garden of your dreams! For tips on how to start seedlings indoors, check out this article. 

A DIY candle

The great thing about using cannabis jars for candles is that you can make another candle when it burns all the way through so it is, quite literally, the jar that keeps on giving. The process is simple -- melt your wax, place your wick in the bottom of the jar, pour melted wax into the jar, and leave it to harden. These make great homemade gifts, too, so collect your jars throughout the year and you’ll have plenty of holiday gifts ready to go. Watch this video for all the details: 

Color-coded toolbox organization

We’ve all been there: you need a specific-sized nail or screw, run into the garage, pull out your toolbox, and proceed to dig, and dig, and dig until you find what you’re looking for. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you had your screws and nails conveniently separated by size in convenient storage containers? Well, your old plastic cannabis containers are up to the task! 

If you have cannabis containers in different colors, you can organize by color/size (i.e., small screws and nails go in orange containers while the bigger sizes are reserved for green), or you can simply write the sizes on the lids of the container. Regardless of your labeling approach, you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you need a 1.5 inch drywall screw. 

Protective travel bags for your toiletries

Many dispensaries are required by law to use mylar n their “exit bags”. These bags are very sturdy and, unfortunately, not very recyclable. Fortunately, there are a couple of different ways you can use them when traveling. First, you can use them for jewelry storage. They typically come with a built-in zipper, so your earrings and rings won’t end up at the bottom of your suitcase. Second, you can use them to transport your shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries that are prone to leaking or exploding. This way, if your shampoo bottle erupts inside of it (we’ve all been there), all you have to do is wipe it clean. 

Note: if you’re using a mylar bag in your carry-on bag, make sure it’s clear -- TSA requires carry-on toiletry bags to be see-through. 

Smell-proof storage for your spices

One of the best things about cannabis packaging is its smell-proof in nature, making it a great way to store your extra pungent spices like cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon. One Imgur user used baby food jars and wooden discs to make a chic, space-saving Lazy Susan to display their spice collection, but you can easily use glass cannabis jars in place of the baby food containers. 

Just in case you want to make your own, here are the step-by-step instructions. But, if you want a different look, there are lots of DIY projects online. Let us know how your DIY project turned out!

Stash jars for just about anything

At the end of the day, cannabis jars and containers can be used to stash just about anything. They come in an array of sizes, the glass jars are dishwasher safe, and are easy to fit in a variety of places (Medicine cabinet! The center divider of your car! Your purse! You get the idea!) 

Here are just a few things you can stash in your cannabis containers: 

  • Paperclips and other office supplies
  • Pens and pencils 
  • Jewelry, especially rings and earrings 
  • Keys 
  • Paint/glitter storage for art projects 
  • Travel-size chapsticks and moisturizers 
  • Loose teas
  • Headphones and chargers
  • Makeup brushes/supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Bobby pins and hair ties 

Recycle with the High 5 Initiative

CULTA is proud to be part of the solution, not the pollution. We’ve teamed up with the High 5 Initiative, a non-profit organization, to keep #5 plastic out of the landfills. You can bring your plastic packaging back to CULTA, where it will be recycled by the good people at the High 5 Initiative. Several Maryland-based cannabis dispensaries are participating, but if yours isn’t, we encourage you to be vocal. Sometimes they just need to hear it directly from the people who matter most -- their patients! 

To learn more about the High 5 Initiative and the type of plastic packaging they accept, check out our exclusive interview here.

The sky's the limit

There is no limit when it comes to upcycling your cannabis jars and containers. We’ve seen patients turn mylar bags into funky kitchen magnets, backyard bird feeders, and DIY candle holders.  If you’ve upcycled your cannabis packaging in cool and creative ways, tag us in your social media posts -- we’d love to spread the word with the rest of our patients. At CULTA, we’re all for reducing our carbon footprint and hope that you’ll use some of these ideas to keep your cannabis containers out of the landfills.