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20 Ways to Upcycle Cannabis Packaging

By Danyal Swan April 11, 2024
Ways to Upcycle Your Cannabis Tin Packaging

Get your label makers ready! We’re breaking down 20 ways to upcycle your cannabis packaging, from flower jars to edible bags, joint tubes to tins. Upcycling is the latest and greatest way to reduce your carbon footprint while maximizing small pieces in your life, and in the cannabis space where recycling can sometimes be easier said than done, an essential move to stay green.

But before we dive in…

What Cannabis Packaging is Recyclable?

It may feel like a long list of things that aren’t recyclable, but there is also a list of things that are. These can vary from state to state, but in general:

• Glass, just make sure that it’s clean with no residue

• Uncoated paper boxes and paper materials

• Aluminum tins

• Certain types of plastics*

*Note: There are different types of plastic, some can be recycled, and some can’t. Your quickest and best option is to first find the number on your plastic container. These can usually be found at the bottom of the container. Once you know the number, call your local recycling center to confirm their policies. After confirmation from your center, be sure to wash the container and remove any outside labeling.

For those hard-to-recycle options, or even to add canna-flair with recyclable packaging, try upcycling instead!

5 Ways to Reuse Your Flower Jar

Before you dive into reusing your flower jar, glass or plastic, make sure to thoroughly clean it out! The last thing you want is to find are lingering leaves popping up when you least expect them. You can run them through the dishwasher on the top rack, otherwise, dish soap and warm water should do the trick!

1. Use for a Succulent or Small Plant

These small glass jars are the perfect size for your other favorite lil greens. Because plants need proper drainage, you’ll want to approach planting one of two ways. If you’re comfortable working with a drill, you’ll want to drill a few holes at the bottom of the jar for proper drainage (check out this WikiHow post as there are extra steps when drilling into glass). Otherwise, you can pick up small nursery pots and trim them to fit your plant baby’s needs.

2. Stash Your Spices

Your weed doesn’t have to be the only stash for these jars. The gusset seal makes flower jars perfect for cooking spices, keeping them fresh for each use. What we love about this option? They’re wide enough to reach a measuring spoon directly in for measuring. Just be sure to label them!

3. Use for Travel Lotion

Heading on a trip, or just want to keep a little hydration on you? Load your empty flower jar with your favorite lotion. We all know that the travel bottles tend to have a markup, save some $$$ and reuse that packaging for something your skin will thank you for.

4. Store Your Lunch-Sized Salad Dressing

Nothing gets lost more frequently than a Tupperware lid. If you’re like us, that goes double for the mini sizes. Instead, put your cannabis jars to use in your lunch storage. They make the perfect serving size for salad dressing, and the prominent lids are much easier to keep track of.

5. Use for Travel-Sized Shampoo and Conditioner

Skip the travel aisle for your next trip and use an empty flower jar instead. An 1/8th jar is a great size for traveling with your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even liquid face soap. Do your scalp, face, and body a favor by sticking with your routine!

 Ways to Upcycle Your Cannabis Edibles or Flower Packaging

Disposable bags are a little to easy to go through, and we’re not just talking those for your edibles and bud. Plastic baggies are a big contributor to waste, so why not swap out their flimsy, one-or-two-time use with more durable mylar cannabis packaging? Make sure to wash with soap and water before doing so!

1. Use to Pack Jewelry for Travel

Edibles and flower bags are the perfect size for traveling with jewelry. Keep your favorite necklaces and earrings separate to ensure no tangles, and to keep each pair together.

2. Use for Travel Cotton Balls

If you’re like us, we always bring a supply of cotton balls and swabs when traveling. There’s nothing worse than needing one and not having it! Instead of getting cotton all over your toiletry bag, stash the cotton wonders in an extra edible bag.

3. Use for Random Office Essentials

Loose paper clips or thumbtacks? Stash them in your empty edible bag. The sturdy material is great as it keeps from the thumbtacks from poking through, and with as flat as paper clips are, you can stash a lifetime supply (or the entirety of the box that fell apart in the bottom of your filing cabinet).

4. Use to Store Extra Nails and Screws

Always struggle to figure out what to do with those pesky loose screws or nails from building sets? Toss them into an empty edible or flower bag. Because the bag is flat, the storage option will take up relatively no space. A win-win in our eyes.

5. Use for Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste

There’s nothing worse than the feeling you need to brush your teeth. Whether from lunch or your third coffee of the day (we’re not judging, we’re right there with you), it’s convenient to have some on standby. Your leftover mylar bag is perfect for housing a travel toothbrush and toothpaste for those need-to-have moments.

5 Ways to Reuse Your Cannabis Pre-roll Tin

Cannabis tins are such an easy flip for your day-to-day items, especially when it comes to travel.

1. Use for Your Hand-rolled or Packed Joints

We had to go with the obvious first. Their gusset seal makes reusing a pre-roll tin for your own joints incredibly convenient, and there’s nothing like having js in reserve.  

2. Use for Cotton Swabs

If you’re a traveler or a dabber, you’ll love this option. Tins make a great option for stashing cotton swabs, either for that post-shower ear clean or the post-dab residue cleanup. We’re fans of both.

3. Use for Bobby Pins or Hair Ties

Keep those pesky bobby pins and hair ties corralled in your bag by reusing your pre-roll tin. You always need one when you don’t have one, but make sure that’s never the case with this upcycle option.

4. Use for Your Vape Charger

Vape chargers are small but mighty, and a little too easy to misplace. Stash yours in an empty pre-roll tin to ensure it’s always in the same place.

5. Use for Your Headphones

We all need a backup pair of wired headphones. As convenient as wireless are…they also need charged, and there’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot to. Use that old tin to stash your wired headphones, it’ll keep them from getting tangled up and easy to spot!

5 Ways to Upcycle Your Cannabis Pre-Roll or Vape Tube Packaging

Now if you’re like us and use the tube your pre-roll came in to put it out, you’ll definitely want to give it a good wash before reusing! Vape tubes, fortunately, don’t carry the same smell.

1. Use for Your Hand-Rolled or -Packed Joints, or Extra Carts and Batteries

Had to throw in an obvious one with this option. A pre-roll tube makes the perfect carrier for your future joint or extra carts, and same goes for a vape tube! Make sure you’re never without a tube by reusing those you’ve already purchased. And, if you're more of a vaper, use it to hold your extra cartridges and batteries...you never know when you or a friend will be in need of either.

2. Use for Short Dab Tools

If you’re an avid user of e-rigs or dab pens, a vape or pre-roll tube is great for storing the dab tools that come with them. It’s a great piece of mind knowing these tools are fresh and clean when you pull them out to use – no one wants to find what’s in the bottom of your stash box attached to it, requiring a quick clean.

3. Use for Cotton Swabs

In the same vein, keeping cotton swabs on hand for rigs, e-rigs, and dab pens is crucial to maintain your device’s integrity. Stash a decent supply in a vape or pre-roll tube with your device so that they’re always on hand.

4. Use for Tweezers

Tweezers are one thing we always have on hand, but can never seem to find. Pre-roll or vape tubes can fix that, keeping those necessary devices as easy to spot as possible for the times you need ‘em most.

5. Use for Golf Pencils

If you’re a golfer, you’ll like this one. Keep all of your inevitably stashed pencils in your bag with a vape or pre-roll tube. Sharp turns in future rounds will matter less when you have extra pencils in hand to record that next birdie – we believe in you.

Share Your Favorite Ways to Upcycle

If you consider yourself an upcycling connoisseur, show us on Instagram! Tag us in your favorite DIY upcycling project to inspire those around you to reduce and reuse in new and exciting ways. And don't forget to stock up on the packaging you need for your project at your local Zen Leaf Dispensary.

*This post was originally published on February 20, 2023, and updated on April 11, 2024, to include more ways to upcycle.

Digital Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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