What Challenges Does Vape Recycling Cause for Cannabis Industry?
With a surge in the popularity of vaping, vape-related waste has attracted attention from the environmentally conscious. Over nine million people in the United States use e-cigarettes, creating a different form of waste from approximately 4.5 trillion cigarettes littered each year. However, vape recycling poses a challenge. The cartridge and lithium-ion batteries are two vape components requiring hazardous waste removal for an expended cartridge to avoid harming the environment. Environmental concerns are just one of the many liabilities associated with the tobacco and cannabis industries, many of which can be covered through a CA cannabis insurance plan.
Regulatory Preventions for Recycling
Many individuals want to see effective solutions established for vape recycling, but regulatory changes make it difficult in many cases. Regulatory demands are altered too quickly for a dispensary to take definitive action, and in many cases, these regulations have only created a reluctance in recycling options and innovation. Companies like OMG Farms that implemented a discount program for consumers who recycled their previous purchases were forced to abandon their strategies after changes in California regulations prohibited such measures.
Dealing With Waste Management Requirements
The components of a vape pen or cartridge have been labeled as e-waste. This is an informal name for the electronic products that have reached the end of their life. As with any e-waste, liquid nicotine and battery components of an e-cig can leech out into the soil or groundwater when thrown into landfills. Federal and state laws control how hazardous wastes can be disposed of, with requirements and standards that are hard to achieve at the dispensary or even manufacturing level for e-cigarettes.
The Rise of Cannabis Vaping
The legalization of medicinal and recreational use marijuana has seen an uptick in the use of vaping products in the cannabis industry. The vape market for cannabis accounts for about 22% of all dispensary sales on the West coast. Glass jars and plastic containers sold by a dispensary can generally be recycled as easily as common household products made with the same material. However, vape items still need to be turned into a local hazardous materials management facility.
The Complexities of Company vs. Consumer Recycling
Regulatory bodies across the states have muddled the waters on who can recycle cannabis vaping products and which products are allowed to be recycled. Cannabis waste products have specific handling requirements, especially where it concerns dispensaries and manufacturers. In light of these rules, state agencies promote consumer recycling through a hazardous waste disposer, though such a decision often comes with a fee.
The long-term impact of used vaping products tossed into the trash and landfills has yet to be realized. The cannabis industry faces significant challenges in establishing recycling programs that meet state and federal hazardous waste requirements.
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