When Garret Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of recycling solutions provider Resinate, saw a documentary about plastic waste and its impact on the ocean, he started asking questions about the current state of recycling in his home state of Arizona, as well as in the broader United States.
“I didn’t realize how much plastic was just not getting recycled, how much was going into the environment,” he told Cannabis Business Times. “I started asking about why and just wondering, what is happening in Arizona and in the U.S. that is contributing to the dysfunction? … What is a valuable resource that is not being recycled that could be recycled that we could focus on? Where is a problem worth solving within this dysfunction?”
Schwartz and his business partner, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schwartz, started educating themselves on how recycling works and how plastic moves from a business or a household into a sorting facility, and then to a plastic processor or manufacturer. They wanted to find a way to acquire and process some of the material into something new.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for a better system to exist,” Schwartz said. “That’s what we’d like to focus on. The future of that can be built with help from businesses.”
Resinate launched its first recycling effort in a coffee shop, where it placed a fishbowl with a small sign indicating that customers could use the bowl to recycle small plastic items like pill bottles and cannabis containers.Photos courtesy of Hana DispensariesResinate has partnered with dispensaries across Arizona, including Hana Dispensaries, which has locations in Phoenix and Green Valley.
The company then quickly turned its attention to the cannabis industry, where plastic packaging and containers are generally too small to be recycled by city recycling programs.
“Even though the material itself is recyclable—the plastic itself is recyclable—the sorting system that cities and [waste management companies] use is designed to allow small objects to fall through the cracks with all the other contaminants that they get rid of before objects are actually sorted out by type,” Schwartz said. “So, we found out about that and [since I’ve been a] cannabis patient since 2014 or so, I’ve seen this, and I had a dresser drawer just packed full of little containers that I was going to figure out what to do with at some point.”
Resinate has partnered with dispensaries across Arizona, including Oasis Cannabis, Green Hills Patient Center, Sol Flower Dispensaries, Marigold Community Dispensary and, most recently, Hana Dispensaries.
“Obviously, our stores’ products use a lot of packaging, and … we know that there are a lot of different types of packaging that can’t be recycled through different recycling efforts, through whatever city that you live in,” Hana CEO Matt Pinchera told Cannabis Business Times. “Resinate kind of steps in there to fill that gap somewhat and makes it so our consumers can recycle things that they can’t recycle at their homes. So, we felt