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Marijuana Packaging is Littering the Streets of Washington State

Marijuana Packaging is Littering the Streets of Washington State

Latoya Jackman
Garbage from Washington state’s booming pot industry clogs gutters, sewers and landfills (Image via

Discarded nutrients and Fertilizers from Cannabis Production Operations are Beginning to Litter the Streets of Washington State

The leftovers from marijuana production are being dumped in the sewers in Washington State. This discarded waste is funneling its way into the wastewater treatment plants.

The packing is running into Puget Sound, a sound along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea.

Heather Trim, Executive Director of Zero Waste Washington, an organizer of litter cleanups, has reported that a lot of marijuana packaging is showing up in public places.

“We’re seeing a lot of marijuana packaging in our public spaces. Cannabis packaging is adding to our load, which then gets washed into our lakes and Puget Sound.”

A lot of this junk is biodegradable loads from weed harvests. This could potentially be composted instead of being dumped.

BDS Analytics reported that pre-rolled joints, a product that is sold for approximately $2 and produced with doob tubes, have increased in popularity.

Doob tubes are not biodegradable or easily recycled even when made with recyclable plastic. Additionally, their small size makes it easy for them to fall through the grates of the recycling machines.


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Not All Cannabis Producers are Environmentalists

Danielle Rosellison, President of the Cannabis Alliance, a nonprofit group of cannabis stakeholders dedicated to sustainability, stated that its evident that green rushers are not environmentalists.

“The historical cannabis community is environmentalist, but green rushers, as some cannabis entrepreneurs are known, aren’t, necessarily. Looked high and low for a bag that had a shelf life and was recyclable, and nothing.”

Industrial composters state that they have received very few significant businesses from Washington marijuana producers.

Scott Deatherage, an operations manager for Barr-Tech, a large industrial composter in Eastern Washington stated that they have not had any producers signed on.

“We haven’t had any producers sign on. We have the proper permits to accept the materials, we just haven’t had any.”

Washington prides itself on being part of the country that is environment-friendly.

The matter is becoming a big challenge for the state, although the retail marijuana market sales brought in $315 million in taxes in 2017.


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