Canada legalized cannabis production, sale, and consumption in October of 2018. Quickly thereafter, many consumers complained about the bulky, excessive packaging coming from their marijuana purchases.
The current standard packaging for seven grams of weed can weigh up to 29 grams – that’s four times more weight than the flower it’s containing. This is largely due to state and federal regulations that require warnings be included on all packaging.
Health Canada guidelines require cannabis packaging be tamper-proof, child-resistant, and they must prevent contamination. Unfortunately, the lids that are being used to meet these requirements are partially non-recyclable.
Jake Boudreau is the founder of Kindness3D based out of Nova Scotia. His company figured out a way to modify a paper shredder to be capable of breaking down plastic lids, and the shredded plastic it produces is used as supply for his company’s 3D printers. Once the plastic has gone through the shredder three times, it can then be used to create things with a 3D printer.
Kindness3D has created and donated prosthetics using other plastics to people around the world who can’t afford them. They have provided a prosthetic hand to a woman in Brazil and a girl in Costa Rica and are currently working on an arm for a four-year-old located in California.
Boudreau told CBC Radio he noticed there was “an obscene amount of waste” from the packaging, and said he was frustrated by it as a consumer.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is the province’s only licensed weed retailer. Boudreau told CTV Atlantic that he saw that the province had no plan on how to take care of the excess waste, and that he and Kindness3D wanted to be among the first to collect and recycle the plastic.
Businesses local to Boudreau have been helping the project by collecting plastic lids for him to use. He has begun a petition to persuade the NSLC to collect and donate the used marijuana packaging to his company.