Author: Amber D. Lengacher 

Contributor: Sandra Jimenez-Nielsen 

In honor of Global Recycling Day on March 18, 2022, Trulieve is proud to share our TruRecycle program for cannabis packaging throughout the state of Florida, approved by Florida’s Department of Health.  

The regulation of cannabis has a profound impact on our environment and we here at Trulieve view it as an honored obligation to reduce that impact. Through programs like TruRecycle, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste sent to landfills through a partnership with a global recycling partner.  

While many states prohibit the recycling of cannabis packaging by the effect of their waste disposal regulations, there is a strong need for this service in our industry. Research is thin, but according to an MIC publication, “American industry insiders say they sell over a billion units of product every year, which likely translates to thousands of tons of plastic packaging.” Even more important, due to safety requirements, the type of packaging used often weighs four to 30 times their contents. A single gram of cannabis has been found to be packaged in 70 grams of plastic packaging. 

In Florida, since our TruRecycle program launched in October 2021, we have recycled over 3,500 pounds of packaging waste! This program allows patients to return select container types to any Trulieve dispensary location in the state, so long as they are clean, free of labels, and clear of residue. Patients return packages in-store and they remain in Zero Waste Boxes that are shipped with a UPS Carbon Neutral shipping partner to our recycling partner to offset the carbon emissions of this activity.  

Our goals for the program are simple. We want to make a positive impact on our environment and lead by example, giving patients access to this important program and aiding in our relentless drive to improve our corporate responsibility initiatives, engage employees, and elevate our brand experience.  

We have heard incredible feedback as a result of our TruRecycle Program. Both store staff and patients have told us the process is simple, user-friendly, and efficient. Recycling is important to us and our patients, just another example of values that we share, and has been so successful that we are actively monitoring opportunities to roll the program out in other states throughout our nationwide operations.  

If cannabis packaging recycling is prohibited in effect by your jurisdiction’s regulations, it is probably time to advocate for a reasonable and responsible policy change or variance to those requirements. Sustainable Cannabis Coalition can provide resources to aid you in accomplishing these goals to allow for this important change.