Sustainability: Vape Launch Pilot

C3 has joined a collaborative vape recycling pilot program in tandem with licensed producers, provincial distributors, and retailers across the country - the first of it's kind.

Leading Canadian cannabis companies – 48North, Aurora Cannabis, Aphria Inc., Canopy Growth, Cronos Group – and the Cannabis Council of Canada (‘C3’), have partnered to pilot a national vape recycling program that will help consumers dispose of vape hardware safely and responsibly. The program will supply cannabis retail locations with countertop collection boxes and will be rolled out to more than 200 stores across British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Participating retailers will accept disposable vape pens, vape batteries, and cartridges from all brands.

The premise of the program is simple: Recycling boxes will ship directly to retail or partners for their distribution, with a collection compartment for vape pens and batteries, and another for cartridges.

Once full, retailers will request a pick-up from Canada Post, and boxes are sent to recycling partners’ provincial facilities for processing.

The industry enlisted Quantum Lifecycle Partners (‘Quantum’), a leading Canadian e-recycling provider with the expertise to properly handle the various elements embedded in vape technology. “This initiative signals an important step in developing shared solutions so that the industry can meet stewardship responsibilities on a collective basis,” said George Smitherman, President and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada. “We’ve seen past leadership on recycling from individual companies within the sector that made today possible,” Smitherman noted.

Clayton Miller, Vice President, Business Development, Recycling for Quantum explains, “We achieve a high rate of recycling by sorting, separating and processing the various vape components into base commodities that can be reused in new products again and again.” Miller also remarked, “Quantum is really happy to be part of the solution and congratulates the LPs and industry that have stepped forward and taken this leadership position.”

“It feels good to be collaborating with industry on solutions that help consumers recycle their vapes,” said Steven Fish, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility for Aurora Cannabis – and a catalyst for the program. “We will learn how much material can be recovered during this pilot project and where we can take this partnership next,” he added.

Given that vapes are starting to account for a larger component of the market, there is potential for innovation - the pilot will flesh out quantitative aspects and explore the potential feasibility of a national vape recycling program.

The Council commends the leadership of this stewardship initiative. It lends its full support and backing to the pilot to provide better data, a greater potential for collaboration and driving forward innovative solutions towards increased sustainability.