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Biodegradable Cannabis Packaging: Pop-Tops with EcoPure

CannaLock™ | March 6, 2024

We don't have to tell you that plastic is hurting our environment. As a packaging company, we know we have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to offering our clients sustainable packaging they can afford. That's why CannaLock has developed biodegradable plastic using EcoPure®. This article discusses this exceptional plastic additive.


EcoPure Biodegradable Plastic logo
EcoPure® accelerates the rate at which the plastic biodegrades under anaerobic conditions.

The Problem with Plastic

Only 9% of the world’s plastic waste is recycled. However, only 15% of this is actually collected for recycling, 40% of which ends up being disposed of as residue. Being recyclable isn’t always enough. If only a fraction of the plastic we recycle ends up being fully recycled, we need to determine a way to address the amount of plastic ending up in landfills.


How can CannaLock play its part in addressing this problem? Creating biodegradable cannabis packaging by adding EcoPure® to our pop-top tubes and jars.


Biodegradable Cannabis Packaging:

What is EcoPure®? 

EcoPure® is a non-toxic, food-safe plastic additive derived from organic compounds. When added to plastic, EcoPure® accelerates the rate at which the plastic biodegrades under anaerobic conditions, like those found in landfills.


Plastics that contain EcoPure® can only undergo biodegradation when exposed to an environment that contains anaerobic microbes responsible for breaking down plastics. These plastic digesting microbes are present in landfills.


Products containing EcoPure® are tested using the ASTM D5511-18 test standard.


What is the ASTM D5511?

The ASTM D5511 is a standard test method used to determine the biodegradability of plastic materials in a high-solids anaerobic environment that mimics a landfill. An anaerobic environment is one in which free oxygen is not present. Landfills are anaerobic in nature and contain specific microbes that can digest materials in the absence of oxygen, including plastics.


In the ASTM D5511-18 lab test carried out by Intertek, CannaLock’s polypropylene plastic pop-top tubes were placed in a controlled environment with conditions simulating that of a landfill. More specifically, the tubes were placed in an incubator and exposed to anaerobic digesters, like those used in municipal solid waste treatment. Over a 45-day period, our polypropylene plastic pop-top tubes with a 0.5% EcoPure® additive were shown to biodegrade by 6.32%.


What does 6.32% biodegradation in 45 days mean?

On average, polypropylene materials take anywhere from 20-30 years to completely break down in a landfill. This equates to 7,305 – 10,958 days. Comparatively, our polypropylene pop-top tubes containing EcoPure® can undergo complete biodegradation in as little as 720 days based on the ASTM D5511-18 test results. This is approximately equal to two years. While some variation in environmental conditions exist across landfills, like temperature, they remain highly similar. *


*NOTE: In ideal conditions, our tubes could biodegrade in as little as just two years. It should still be noted that, since environmental conditions may vary across landfills (e.g., differences in temperature, exact oxygen composition, etc.), the biodegradation process could occur at a slower rate. However, landfill environments remain highly similar, so the extent to which the rate of biodegradability differs between landfills is unlikely to be significant. Regardless, a few years is significantly shorter and less harmful to the environment than 20-30 years.


Recap with Quick Facts

  • Plastic additive that accelerates natural bacterial digestion of plastic polymers

  • Made from organic compounds

  • Non-toxic – certified FDA compliant for toxicity

  • Food-contact safe

  • Does not contain heavy or light metals or metal ions

  • Does not contain cancer-causing additives

  • Does not produce microplastics or toxic residue

  • Does not contain enzymes or other microbes

  • Does not change physical appearance, colour, or feel

  • Does not affect the recyclability of a product

  • Only biodegrades in anaerobic, microbe-rich environments

  • No limit on shelf life


Conclusion

While we cannot solve the world's plastic problem alone, we can certainly do our part in reducing the impact our products have on the environment. Our new biodegradable pop-top tubes and jars are one of many ways in which we are reducing our environmental impact. EcoPure® is a non-toxic plastic additive that accelerates the rate at which plastic biodegrades in a microbe-rich environment under anaerobic conditions, like in a landfill.


Adding EcoPure® to our biodegradable pop-top tubes and jars does not change the physical appearance or texture of our packaging. Our biodegradable pop-top packaging can still be ordered in any custom colour to suit your brands needs, all within budget.


Ready to order? Contact us for pricing, information, orders, and more.


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