CEN at MJBizCon: The Trouble with Cannabis Packaging Recycling

NBi FlexPack said mixed plastics and residual product can present challenges.

The Cannabis Equipment News team recently traveled to MJBizCon, held in Las Vegas from November 28 through December 1. At the show, we interviewed equipment manufacturers, cultivators, operators and new product developers to learn more about what they bring to the cannabis industry.

NBi FlexPack focuses on making packaging for the cannabis industry. That covers flower, edibles, chocolate bars, confections and vapes. The company has a 27,000-square-foot facility in Wisconsin with two pouching lines and Ebeam coating technology that protects the inks and sterilizes the bags. Jeff Leto, senior vice president of sales, said the technology includes spot embellishment which allows for contrast that stands out on packaging.

Ebeam not only makes the packaging food safe, it can also help shorten lead time since it cures much faster than UV curable laminates.

Leto said his company is getting more requests for recyclable and eco-friendly packaging. But he warned that flexible packaging is tough for recyclers, since the packaging has different blends of plastics. He said companies that can handle mixed waste streams include Patagonia for clothing and lumber companies for synthetic lumber. He also said recyclers are very cautious about any residual cannabis product in packaging so it can be tough to find a partner.

The next MJBizCon will be held from December 3, 2024, through December 6, 2024, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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