Even when marijuana packaging is recycled at home, it is often sorted out by recyclers and taken to landfills
New York senator Michelle Hinchey filed legislation called “Cannabis Container Bill of Rights,” which pushes for recycling across the cannabis industry once retail sales officially begin, reported Marijuana Moment.
The measure asks marijuana shops to provide a $1 deposit for any cannabis product sold in single-use plastic containers and to reimburse customers when they return the container. The proposed legislation would also demand that all cannabis products use packaging made from 50% recycled materials, at a minimum.
Last year, Hinchey sponsored another measure that would give priority to hemp-based packaging over synthetic plastics for cannabis products.
The bill’s justification segment notes that New York’s recreational cannabis law has important packaging demands like childproof sealing, which have caused the industry to have an enormous plastics footprint.
“The legal cannabis industry in the United States produces about 150 million tons of waste each year. Even when marijuana packaging is recycled at home, it is often sorted out by recyclers and taken to landfills,” it says. “While no industry is blameless in the plastic pollution crisis, New York has a unique opportunity to prevent a new source of plastic pollution as we consider the legalization of recreational marijuana.”
This bill is the same as one filed by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D) last year, but this new Senate version had been presented to the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
New York Cannabis Program Overview
Among other policy changes and updates confirmed since New York State’s legalization took effect in March last year, one of the most significant was the employee cannabis testing policy update. In October, New York became the first state in the Union to prohibit employers from testing most employees for cannabis.
In addition, New York Senator Jeremy Cooney (D) proposed a bill that would allow transgender and non-binary people to qualify as social equity applicants under the state’s cannabis law.