New Product Aims to Reduce the Single-Use Plastic Problem in Cannabis
BOULDER, CO | The founders behind cannabis packaging manufacturer STO Responsible centered their business around one paramount goal: fixing the cannabis industry’s single-use plastic problem by developing safe, affordable packaging solutions that won’t harm the environment.
After spending three years in research and development, the design team at STO Responsible devised a brand-friendly product line for cannabis packaging that can be easily reused and repurposed by consumers. If the packaging doesn’t reach the recycling stream, a special oxygen-driven additive in the packaging material facilitates a bio-degradation process, which allows it to degenerate swiftly and safely.
“STO’s packaging harnesses the natural process of plastic degradation but accelerates it so the material breaks down in five to 10 years rather than 500,” said Sandra Elkind, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of STO Responsible. “Because the cannabis industry serves eco-conscious consumers, sourcing environmentally friendly packaging isn’t just good for your karma: It’s essential for your business.”
STO Responsible uses oxygen-driven degradable polypropylene for its packaging, a material that is accepted at recycling facilities. However, if the package is instead discarded carelessly or sent to an oxygen-utilizing bioreactor landfill, an accelerated biodegradation process occurs.
The principle is explained by the Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Federation: When the material is in the presence of oxygen, the chemical bonds of the polymer chains are broken through oxidation. This helps promote degradation of the material through natural biological processes as the molecules are converted into carbonaceous food sources for microbes.
“Our packaging acts as an insurance policy: While we always encourage recycling, it doesn’t always happen,” said Nicole Elkind, Co-Founder & CEO. “Oxo-biodegradation technology ensures that even if this packaging doesn’t end up in the right place, we’re still reducing landfill waste and avoiding long-term harm to our oceans.”
STO Responsible containers are designed with reuse in mind, and the STO team encourages consumers to get creative: “Our containers can hold your hardware, craft supplies, makeup items, snacks, jewelry or small collectibles, just to name a few,” Nicole Elkind added. “While consumers should take the normal precautions to keep cannabis products out of reach of children and pets, STO Responsible packaging is child- and pet-resistant to add a level of safety.”
STO Responsible’s eco-friendly packaging is designed to meet the cannabis industry’s strict compliance standards, as well as offering accessibility thanks to its wide-mouth design and easy stackable storage.
The STO Responsible product line includes a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and offers packaging for cannabis-infused edibles, loose-leaf flower, joints, topicals and more. The container design is certified by the ASTM / U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 CFR, part 1700) International Standard (ISO 8317), made with food-grade material, 100 percent recyclable and manufactured in the USA.