Opinions differ about what makes a cannabis product successful. Most base their opinion on things like potency, terpenes, and which cannabinoids are present. But those are aspects of the product itself, and the product isn’t the first thing potential consumers encounter.
Packaging typically represents a consumer’s first contact with a product. Good, bad, or indifferent, packaging sets the tone for the whole experience.
While there are seemingly endless types of packaging from which to choose, glass is the reliable elder statesman. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a type of plastic, offers many of the same benefits. Efficient, effective, and sustainable, glass and PET are solid packaging choices, particularly for flower, because they retain freshness and preserve product efficacy.
Over the nearly fifty years of its existence, eBottles has built upon the wisdom of generations of rigid container manufacturers and adapted traditional packaging forms specifically for the cannabis industry. The company’s methods, materials, and products are innovative and constantly evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry.
Robert Lerman, founder and chief executive officer of the company, offered five reasons to consider glass or PET for your next packaging project.
Showing off in style
Bags send a message about the product inside, and it may not be the message you want to send, according to Lerman. “The problem with bags is they all look exactly the same,” he said. “At the retail level, your bag looks the same as everyone else’s. Now you’re just selling on price, and you’ve lost the ability to brand your product as a quality product.”
Consumers and dispensary owners may equate bags with a low price point, he explained. “If you present your product in bags, the retailer is going to want a lower price and the packaging cost savings disappear,” he said.
On the other hand, glass adds class to shelves and display cases. The sparkle commands attention, and in a sea of mylar, glass looks elegant and sophisticated. Many glass and PET jars are transparent, allowing the product inside to show off its true colors, but eBottles also offers colored glass; frosted, sprayed, or metallized containers; and other customization options to meet compliance requirements and fit the customer’s brand.
Shake n’ bake
Consumers who buy flower on the regular almost certainly have experienced that disappointing moment when they realize some precious trichomes, shake, and other goodies are stuck in the folds at the bottom of the bag their brand-new bud came in. Retrieving those morsels from a jar is much easier than getting mylar to turn them loose. Plus, consumers can see exactly where the last delicious bits are hiding in clear containers, and that’s virtually impossible with an opaque or translucent bag. Happy customers equal repeat business.
Handled with care
People handle bags and jars in very different ways. Bags can get packed into tight spaces, sometimes crushing the product within. Jars, on the other hand, usually are handled with much more respect. “The problem with bags is they don’t protect the flower,” said Lerman. “The product can get crushed and damaged.” Flower naturally preserves itself as long as it’s not crushed, he explained. Because they prevent crushing, rigid containers prevent loss of the moisture and terpenes that contribute to the cannabis experience.
Lerman added another common issue with bags is the challenge of resealing them, which can have a direct effect on product quality. “As a consumer, you’re not really thinking about making sure the bag is sealed up tight, and then the flower goes bad pretty quickly,” he said. The lids on glass and PET containers provide a much better, more secure seal.
Message in the medium
Glass is 100-percent recyclable and reusable. In fact, the Glass Packaging Institute’s data suggests 80 percent of all post-consumer glass is made into new products. A McKinsey & Company study found recyclable plastic can reduce packaging’s climate impact by 10 to 90 percent compared to other materials.
“Because mylar bags have a multi-layer construction, they’re completely non-recyclable,” said Lerman, adding eBottles’ sustainable packaging solutions are food-grade, compliant, and made using reclaimed, recycled, and 100-percent recyclable materials. “In an industry of greenwashing, we focus on sustainable solutions without any false promises.”
What’s more, producers needn’t spend more to live up to sustainability promises. eBottles clients may opt for containers made from post-consumer recycled materials or ocean-bound plastics at no additional charge. “It’s our job to come up with sustainable solutions that don’t cost more,” Lerman said. “We get the message very loud and clear from the industry that sustainability is very important, but also businesses need to succeed financially.”
Kids will be kids
Children are curious. Unfortunately, curiosity and infused products are a bad combination when youngsters are involved. All states mandate child-resistant packaging, but not all child-resistant packaging is created equal. “Here we have thousands of children showing up in emergency rooms, [in some cases] because the child-resistant mechanism isn’t working,” said Lerman. In other cases, the mechanism is difficult or inconvenient to use. “A lot of adults don’t perfectly close that zipper” on bags, he added.
eBottles worked in concert with its customers to design an extensive line of glass and PET containers with patented child-safety mechanisms that not only are easy for adults to open and close, but also add an extra layer of freshness protection.
eBottles has served the cannabis industry since 2014, supporting customers’ finely tuned branding with completely customizable jars and closures. Today, the company works with thousands of customers coast to coast, including 90 percent of the top ten multistate operators in the United States. With sales of more than 300 million units per year and multiple patents for child-resistant containers, eBottles can be found protecting products from leading companies in every legal market in North America.
The company ships innovative packaging solutions for flower, concentrates, tinctures, edibles, vaporizer cartridges, beverages, and other infused products from five regional warehouses across the country, and many items can be customized in as little as three weeks.