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CRATIV Sustainability: Making Marijuana Packaging Sustainable

  • A Message from Bill Ludlow, President, CEO

Over the past three months CRATIV has taken a step back to ask “Why”?  What is our purpose?  What motivates us? This exercise ended in a new mantra for CRATIV.

The CRATIV Mantra

Environmentally Conscious, Child Safe, Champions for Cannabis

I’d like to address all three elements of our mantra and then focus on the environmentally conscious element.

The CRATIV Packaging Mantra Unpacked

Champions for Cannabis: When I arrived in Denver, Colorado in late 2014 I knew I wanted to find a way to support the safe and effective maturation of the cannabis industry.  I identified packaging that supported cannabis product configurations and superior branding as an opportunity. CRATIV Packaging products have been developed with cannabis in mind from the start. We are committed to being Champions for Cannabis and working toward the end of prohibition.

Child Safe: Child-resistant packaging regulations requirements for cannabis products were in place in Colorado when I arrived in Denver, but not in most other regions. When we began we made the decision to focus on child-resistant packaging as we predicted the broader industry would require it as legalization rolled out across the world.  The unique challenge of creating cannabis packaging that 50 children (ages 3 to 5) could not open yet 100 adults (ages 50 to 70) could open easily was a significant engineering design challenge.  We took on the challenge and passed the 3rdparty administered United States Code of Federal Regulations / ASTM protocol. Child safety goes hand in hand with supporting the safe maturation of the cannabis industry toward the end of prohibition.

Environmentally Conscious: Take note that environmentally conscious is the first statement in our mantra.  We lead with sustainability in our mantra so that it is “center stage.”  As we went through the development of our “why,” we discussed the huge challenge that child-resistant cannabis packaging regulations are driving with regards to the creation of waste going to landfills.  It’s not uncommon to walk out of a dispensary and see exit bags, pop top bottles, and other packaging thrown in the trash by the door or littering the parking lot.  A lot of child-resistant packaging is oddly shaped, not friendly for consumers to carry around, and just not worth keeping cannabis product in.

How CRATIV is Meeting the Cannabis Package Sustainability Challenge

CRATIV doesn’t claim to have all of the answers to the cannabis packaging sustainability challenge, but we have made a formal decision to own the challenge and be a part of the solution.  Here’s a summary of our sustainable packaging efforts to date and what we will drive toward:

  1. RecycleRecyclable– CRATIV products on the market today are made of number 5 recyclable polypropylene. Polypropylene is used for most plastic child-resistant containers due to the engineering properties that allow it to meet the form, fit, and function required.  The key word is “recyclable.” This cannabis packaging can be sustainable, but only if it is recycled. A CALL OUT TO CONSUMERS… WE NEED YOUR HELP.  Please don’t throw your cannabis packaging in the trash.  The industry needs you to participate in solving the challenge by recycling wherever possible.
  2. Upcyclable– CRATIV packaging has been designed with re-use in mind. Re-use is a key element of sustainable packaging. I am not aware of any other cannabis packaging product on the market today that has the form factor to promote re-use as well as CRATIV. CRATIV products are designed to be “pocket profile” and fit in a purse, backpack, or back pocket.  Look out for a contest on “best CRATIV upcycle” ideas. We’ll be soliciting photos through social media and encourage consumers to share how they are re-using their CRATIV packaging so it never makes it to a re-cycle center, or even worse, a landfill. Again A CALL OUT TO CONSUMERS… WE NEED YOUR HELP.  Please upcycle and re-use your CRATIV packaging wherever possible.
  3. Hemp Material – CRATIV is committed to exploring hemp as an alternative material of manufacturing sustainable child-resistant packaging. Had hemp not been banned for the past 100 years, the engineering needed to develop hemp biomass for processes such as hemp resins for molding would be far more advanced today.  Since hemp has recently been federally legalized, R&D will be significantly accelerated.  CRATIV will participate in the movement toward hemp as an alternative material.
  4. Bio-Degradable Material– There are plastic additives that can be used to bio-degrade the plastics we use faster. We are committed to further developing our existing products and future sustainable cannabis packaging to promote bio-degradation.

We don’t claim to have all of the answers or a slam dunk perfect solution that can be implemented tomorrow.  We have taken steps to make sure that our products are recyclable and are excited about our campaign to drive consumer sharing of creative upcycle ideas.  And we will drive toward more sustainable materials.  We’re all in this together and ask that everyone own the challenge of sustainable marijuana packaging with us.

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Bill Ludlow