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The Keys to Sustainable Cannabis Packaging

If it isn’t obvious already, we do everything we can here to champion sustainable practices in the cannabis industry. That’s why when Bill Ludlow, CEO of CRATIV Packaging, published an in-depth sustainability mantra on his company’s website, we were intrigued. While sustainability is growing in popularity and practice in the cannabis industry, it is still rare to see such public and open commitment to sustainable practices. We decided to speak with Ludlow further about what made him decide to make sustainability a core value of his business.

Related: Cannabis Packaging: How Regulations Make Sustainability a Challenge

Cannabis & Tech Today: Can you tell us what was the motivation for making sustainability so core to your business?

Bill Ludlow: We took a step back to explore our “Why.” We knew we had to develop a core mantra that our team could speak to with passion and our customers could get behind. We realized we can’t just be “a packaging company,” and we’re excited to say we are also environmentally conscious, child-safe, and champions for cannabis.

Being a company focused on the development of child-resistant packaging for the cannabis industry captured two pieces of our mantra. But, we continue to get pushback from industry stakeholders about all of the waste that child-resistant packaging is forcing the cannabis industry into. We decided, even though we don’t have all of the answers that we needed, to be loud about this environmental challenge and drive conversation toward solutions.

C&T Today: How important would you rate sustainability for the cannabis industry as a whole?

BL: Very important. Unfortunately, it’s not just packaging creating sustainability challenges.  There’s pesticides, electricity use, and even issues with disposing of waste biomass. Let’s all look at this together as an exciting opportunity for the cannabis industry to be thought leaders and own the challenge. It won’t happen overnight, but let’s talk about it and begin to drive incremental changes.

C&T Today: What excites you about the role hemp and biodegradable materials can play?

BL: I’m super excited that we have an opportunity to incorporate these new materials along with the unfolding of the cannabis industry toward the end of prohibition. Due to the spotlight on the industry today, we have the ability to shine as champions for latching onto advancements in materials science and be recognized for driving innovation. The legalization of hemp will allow R&D to pick up where it left off 100+ years ago. Imagine where we could have been today had hemp been legal.

C&T Today: How big of a role does consumer education play in your company?

BL: Mankind has gotten so used to the convenience of things, such as plastic, to make life easier.  Wherever you are right now as you read this, look around you.  Plastic cups, carpet, counter laminate, furniture, fabric materials, clothing, and so much more are made out of petroleum-based materials. Industry will be challenged to develop alternate sustainable solutions, but consumers will need to participate and in some cases adopt inconvenient change for a greater cause. We must all be in this together.

C&T Today: Can you talk about the importance of child-safe packaging for kids and even pets?

BL: It’s important that we help the cannabis industry mature in a safe and effective fashion.  Child-resistant packaging has historically and statistically been proven to prevent children from getting into things that can be harmful. We must adopt what more legitimized industries have already been forced to do due to regulations. By implementing safety for children through child-safe packaging, we will show the world that we are serious about ending this prohibition.

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