Washington state has collected $315 million in taxes on retail sales of marijuana in fiscal year 2017, according to The Washington Post. However, that revenue generated from the booming cannabis industry comes at an environmental cost.
Plastic tubes, small Mylar bags and other marijuana packaging products are being dumped in public sewers and making their way into state waterways. In addition, millions of pounds of harvested marijuana, which should be composted, ends up in landfills.
In the last year, pre-rolled joints have spiked in popularity in the state. They are sold for as little as $2 and come in small plastic containers that cannot be recycled—mainly because they are so small that they fall through the grates of recycling machines.
The Washington Post has more:
Washington state’s penchant for getting high is trashing the place.
Plastic “doob tubes” and small Mylar bags used to package pot are moldering in gutters, bleaching out in landfills and bobbing in waterways.
Concentrated nutrients and fertilizers left over from cannabis growing operations are being dumped in public sewers and making their way past wastewater treatment plants into Puget Sound. And millions of pounds of weed harvest waste that could be composted are instead getting trucked to landfills.
This, in a part of the country that prides itself on being environmentally friendly.