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Tips for Recycling Cannabis Packaging

At PEI Cannabis stores, our retail teams and our valued customers care deeply about the environment, and we share the concerns related to the impact cannabis packaging is having on our island. Our goal is to empower our customers in their recycling of cannabis packaging which, in turn, will improve their general recycling knowledge and result in broader environmental sustainability.

To learn more about cannabis packaging and labelling, and how we can all do our part to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, read on!


Why is there so much packaging and labelling? Can PEI Cannabis limit this?

To ensure cannabis is sold to and consumed by 19+ consumers as safely as possible in PEI, federal regulations dictate the robust information that needs to be on cannabis labels, and what packaging mechanisms need to be in place to avoid unintentional consumption by vulnerable groups such as children.

To ensure compliance with these regulations, packaging for cannabis products is often more intensive than it would be for other similarly sized, non-cannabis products (e.g. other dried herbs, candy, juice, etc.). Unfortunately, this leads to proportionately more intensive waste than other consumer packaged goods industries.

Because PEI Cannabis does not dictate cannabis packaging/labelling regulations, or control the packaging/labeling practices used by its suppliers, it is limited in what it can do to influence waste in its supply chain. We are committed to educating our customers as much as possible on how to recycle their packaging, and to always work with our external stakeholders in mitigating environmental impacts while also remaining fully dedicated to public health and safety.

How do I recycle my packaging?

Most cannabis packaging can be recycled in your curbside collection program or at your local Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC) or Waste Watch Drop-Off Centers (WWDCs). For more information, please visit: iwmc.pe.ca

Most aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard and plastic based packaging can be recycled curbside or at the WWDCs.

The most commonly used plastics in cannabis packaging are:


Check the bottom of your plastic container for a code (seen within the recycling symbol), which denotes the type of plastic used to manufacture the product.

Plastic Code 1 is a common plastic code that shows the product is made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). Dried flower packaging often features this plastic, which can be recycled into useful items such as tote bags or food containers. PET products can be recycled.

Plastic Code 2 stands for High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is commonly found on milk and juice jugs or yogurt containers. HDPE products can be recycled.

Plastic Code 4 stands for Low-Density Polyethylene (LPDE). A lot of plastic wrappings are made of LDPE plastic. It’s also used to make grocery bags and the bags that hold newspapers, sliced bread loaves and fresh produce, among other things. LDPE products can sometimes be recycled. 

Another common Plastic Code is 5, which is the symbol for Polypropylene (PP). It is commonly found on dried flower packaging. DYK - Polypropylene can be recycled into objects such as ice scrapers and brooms.


Can I send back cannabis packaging to be reused or refilled?

Unfortunately, no. We are currently unable to refill or reuse cannabis packaging. Federal regulations require that cannabis products are securely and individually packaged by licensed producers, sealed with a Canadian Government excise duty tag, and safely transported to PEI Cannabis Distribution Centre and stores.

The best way to re-use cannabis packaging for the same purpose in the future would be to recycle through your residential curbside collection services offered by IWMC.


Can I reuse cannabis packaging for any purpose?

That’s a great question! And the short answer is YES!

If you would rather reuse than recycle, there are several ways you can repurpose your cannabis packaging.

An example would be a tincture oil bottle. You could reuse it as a diffuser around the home, containing bend of essential oils. Or, you could also reuse it as a handy travel bottle. Or, how about a mini flower vase? 

Before you throw out your cannabis packaging, it’s always a good idea to take some time to think of where your waste ends up and how else you can use it. There’s lots of possibilities!