A Complete Guide to Recycling and Composting Cannabis Packaging

The cannabis industry, like any other, generates a significant amount of packaging waste. From glass jars to plastic containers, these materials can stick around for a long time if not disposed of properly.

Recycling and composting help divert this waste from landfills and allow certain materials to be reused again, reducing the overall environmental impact. By giving these materials a second life, we conserve resources and energy during the production cycle of new packaging.

With the amount of materials that are deemed recyclable or compostable to consumers, the rules and guidelines around what can and can’t be recycled and composted, and where, can be confusing.

Consider this your ultimate guide to understanding the types of recyclable and compostable materials in cannabis packaging, plus what can and can’t be recycled or composted. Learn about the increasing importance of sustainability in cannabis packaging and Treeform’s new line of sustainable pouch materials.

Why is Sustainable Cannabis Packaging Important?

Today, sustainability is not just a buzzword – it’s a necessity. In some states like NY, where 100% plastics are not allowed, consumers are becoming more conscious of their choices – including the products they buy and the packaging they bring into their homes.

Cannabis companies with products in compostable and sustainable packaging are likely to gain more money and interest from environmentally-minded consumers – nearly 30% more.

Choosing sustainable packaging for cannabis is not just a trendy move to make for your business, but a crucial step in the right direction towards environmental sustainability. It’s a proactive step that shows commitment to responsible consumer packaging and can elevate your company’s reputation in the long run.

What are the Different Types of Recycled Cannabis Packaging? 

Cannabis packaging can be made up of a wide variety of sustainable materials. From fully compostable materials to recyclable or reused plastic parts, there’s no bad choice for this type of packaging! Sustainable packaging materials are often made from reused materials and can be broken down into the environment without harmful long-term effects.

What is defined as compostable?

Composting is a natural process that turns organic materials into a valuable soil amendment. As an organic-matter resource, compost has the unique ability to improve the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of soils. Compostable products require microorganisms, humidity, and heat to yield a finished compost product (CO2, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass).

For a product or package to be deemed compostable, it must be able to disintegrate into non-toxic, natural elements. It breaks down at a natural rate similar to other organic materials and can then be a beneficial amendment to the soil and surrounding environment.

When recycling or composting plastic materials from cannabis packaging, each region or municipality may have its own set of recycling regulations or rules. Here are the material types you’ll find in Treeform’s line of sustainable pouch packaging, and where you can properly dispose of them:

Home Compostables

These products are made of materials that can decompose or biodegrade easily through natural biological processes, even at home. for detailed information on home composting check out https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home#:~:text=There%20should%20be%20no%20holes,food%20scraps%20in%20your%20pile.

  • Treeform‘s line of compostable pouches includes the following types of home compostable finishes:
    • with full matte
    • with full gloss
    • with soft touch
    • With window

Industrial Compostables

Industrial composting is the large-scale processing of organic waste into compost at designated facilities. This helps to prevent biodegradable organic materials from ending up in landfills.

Because of this, commercial composting facilities create valuable products from garden waste and food scraps that would otherwise be thrown away. Today, there are nearly 5,000 industrial composting facilities in the US.

  • Treeform’s line of compostable pouches includes the following types of industrial compostable pouches and finishes:
    • With full gloss
    • With full matte
    • with spot gloss
    • with silver barrier
    • With window (no silver barrier)
    • with soft touch

Recyclable #4

Also known as plastic recycling symbol #4: LDPE (low-density polyethylene), this recyclable plastic material may or may not qualify for curb recycling in your area. If not, your cannabis pouch can be returned to most grocery stores to be recycled.

  • Treeform’s line of recyclable pouches includes #4 Recyclable with full gloss or matte, spot gloss, and barriers.

Recyclable #5

Named plastic recycling symbol #5: PP (polypropylene), this recyclable plastic may or may not qualify for curb recycling in your area. If not, pouches can be returned to be recycled at most grocery stores.

  • Treeform’s line of recyclable pouches includes #5 Recyclable with silver barrier and soft touch.

For more information on recycling and relevant symbols https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/g804/recycling-symbols-plastics-460321/

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Our Eco-Friendly Clients with Sustainable Cannabis Pouches

At our cannabis packaging company, we’re proud to be at the forefront of sustainable packaging solutions. We believe that small changes in cannabis packaging can make a larger positive impact on the planet, and we see these impacts directly from our clients!

For their cannabis flower, Happy Camper #hannahindustriesuses used Treeform’s compostable flower pouches for their product. Not only does this sustainable packaging align with their brand’s ethos, but this compostable feature shows their efforts towards giving back to their environment.

#sunrootsfarm/ is a craft cannabis cultivation in Mendocino, California who chose to produce their cannabis pouch packaging with with materials that can be recycled. Designed to showcase their quality sun-grown flower, Sunroots’ recyclable packaging appeals to their eco-conscious consumers.

Whether it’s finding a more sustainable solution for your decadent cannabis edibles or compostable packaging to preserve your top-quality flower, let Treeform offer a sustainable packaging option for your brand!

Treeform Packaging: Sustainable Cannabis Packaging Solutions

With all the incredible and innovative products accessible to us in the cannabis industry, the amount of packaging and waste that accumulates from it is nearly double! Recycling or composting cannabis packaging is more than just tossing something into the right bin – it’s a small but impactful way to contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

Businesses adopting sustainable packaging efforts in this ever-growing industry will play a key role in shaping its success and positive impact. Designed with the eco-conscious consumer in mind, not only do cannabis brands benefit from the use of sustainable materials, but so does the planet!

Reach out to Treeform to learn more about our sustainable pouch packaging materials!



They say first impressions matter. If you’ve put the work into creating an innovative cannabis product, you need a captivating packaging solution to match! All of Treeform’s cannabis packaging options are designed to preserve the freshness and quality of your product while showcasing its unique value to curious consumers. Our extensive suite of cannabis packaging options includes child-resistant features and sustainable material options fortins, pouches, jars, tubes, and boxes. No matter the cannabis product type, Treeform has a custom packaging solution you can trust.