Defining Sustainability in the Cannabis Packaging Industry

At Calyx, sustainability means that the cost of doing business should not come at the expense of our planet. Read on to see how our unique packaging is designed to lighten and control our community’s impact on the environment.

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Defining Sustainability in the Cannabis Packaging Industry

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Apr 22 5 min read

By Calyx Containers in Sustainability at Calyx , Cannabis Packaging

When walking out of a dispensary, customers notice how excessive—and crowded with plastic—the packaging is. Unfortunately, due to state regulations and requirements, cannabis businesses are obligated to stack on safety measures to their packaging, resulting in additional plastic materials. So how can we as cannabis professionals and consumers do our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle packaging and lessen our industry’s impact on the environment by generating less waste?

What is Sustainability?

As part of the consumer packaged goods space, we acknowledge that certain business activities contribute to the overall strain that commercialized cannabis has on the environment.  But for us at Calyx, sustainability means that the cost of doing business should not come at the expense of our planet. Read on to see how our unique packaging is designed to lighten and control our community’s impact on the environment.


Calyx Flower Containers with custom packaging in front of plants



Accelerated Degradation

As we think about sustainable cannabis packaging, it’s difficult to find a solution that ticks off all the boxes. There are a variety of packaging materials available for budding cannabis businesses to retail their goods in, but what makes Calyx packaging stand out?

Enter accelerated degradation. Less than four years after entering an anaerobic landfill, Calyx materials are over 85% broken down*. How do we achieve accelerated degradation? Our plastic dram containers have an organic additive that attracts microbes that eat the material—meaning it starts degrading as soon as it enters a biologically active landfill. This process does not produce microplastics like oxo- or photo-degradable plastics do. 

Accelerated degradation is not to be confused with the term and buzzword, “biodegradable”. Biodegradable materials, under the right conditions and the presence of microorganisms, fungi, or bacteria, lead to packaging breaking down to its basic components and blending back in with the earth. In a perfect world, these substances would degrade without leaving any toxins behind. This however, is not always the case. 

Calyx plastic leverages its organic additive to break down plastic to produce biomass, rather than microplastics. While this organic additive actively reduces our footprint in landfills and improves our products’ decomposition, there is potential to continue improving and innovating our materials in order to provide the best solution to the industry.


Graph comparing timeline for Calyx products accelerated degradation inside landfills to regular plastics



Waste Reduction 

Sustainable waste management means reducing the amount of single-use plastics while increasing the amount recycled. Here at Calyx, our glass containers are made with 56% recycled glass, and our plastic drams and clear glass containers are 100% recyclable with zero added adhesives or foam liners.

Another major pillar in the idea of sustainable packing is reducing the amount of waste that is produced to make your product. Bi-injection molding is another great way to sustainably produce products with little to no waste. Calyx uses this process to manufacture our lid and gasket seal in the same mold. Injecting the gasket seal into the mold rather than diecutting a liner seal from another material, eliminates waste and saves time and energy. The gasket seal is also compatible with polypropylene to be recycled. All of our plastic lids are manufactured in this way. This allows our products to be resealable, so consumers can use our containers for storage long after the flower is gone.


Graphic showcasing the reduce emissions and pollution during creation of Calyx products versus competitors



Smarter Inventory Management

More than a sustainable choice, our inventory system is a cost-efficient choice as well. We have square cannabis containers that fit perfectly into our patented square trays and inserts. They’re reusable and recyclable, eliminating the need for non-recyclable shipping and storage materials. Our unique system saves materials, space, and contributes to a gentler footprint on the planet. 

Our square inventory management system means approximately 18% less wasted space, meaning more room for your operations. Spatial optimization causes fewer shipments than the standard packaging. Fewer shipments lead to lower transit costs and a smaller carbon footprint. A greener way to package means more green in your pockets: a win-win.



Made in the U.S.A.

To reduce our emissions, we like to keep things local. The transportation sector accounts for 27% of all of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the US in 2020. 

Calyx operations are based in Boston, Massachusetts and Salt Lake City, Utah. Therefore, our dram containers and lids are manufactured domestically in the United States, which means faster delivery with fewer emissions. Manufacturing here also means we follow strict environmental regulations.


Calyx containers with custom packaing and "Made in USA" overlay in background



Calyx + Sustainability

We take sustainability seriously. It’s more than accelerated degradation, waste reduction, and smarter inventory management—we’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and help our customers be greener consumers.

A key part of our sustainability efforts is the fact that our jars and drams are food safe. We encourage consumers to reuse them for a myriad of things: travel-sized toiletries, meal prep, even office or kitchen organization. 

Not only does our unique square shape offer impressive space saving, it also makes for more efficient and affordable distribution, resulting in savings to your bottom line. When you pick Calyx, you’re choosing the smartest sustainable solution.

Set your business up for success by reaching out to us via live chat, phone, or email.

Contact Calyx Containers:

Schedule a Call! 

(617) 249-6870

*The degradation rate of the treated plastic is 86% after 1308 days and measured according to the ASTM D5511 test method. Tests are generally conducted using 20% to 30% solid content. Solid content in naturally wet landfills range from 55% to 65%, while the driest landfills may reach 93%. Actual degradation rotes will vary in biologically-active landfills according to the type of plastic used. The product configuration, as well as the solid content, temperature, and moisture levels of the landfill

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