Buying legal cannabis in Canada comes with a lot of packaging. Jacob Boudreau hopes he can use that waste to help those in need.
As a consumer, Jacob Boudreau found the packaging that comes with legal cannabis from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) excessive and wasteful. However, he believes the plastic containers that would otherwise be garbage can serve a higher purpose: creating prosthetic limbs for children.
"We just noticed that there was an obscene amount of waste," Boudreau told CBC. "To me it seemed incredibly wasteful. It was actually frustrating for me as a consumer."
Boudreau operates Kindness3D in Halifax, NS, a non-profit chapter of a global network called e-Nable that brings together 3D printer enthusiasts to manufacture prosthetic limbs. Using a modified paper-shredder, Boudreau has begun breaking down the large plastic lids that come with marijuana to be used with his 3D printer. He said the idea to use the lids came from a customer that asked him about what could be done with the waste.
"We jumped on board, noticing that there wasn't really a plan in place to deal with this kind of waste," Boudreau explained. "It's something we're really excited about. We're doing our part to kind of help out and as well repurpose this packaging and create some artificial limbs from it."
Boudreau has since started a petition to get the NSLC to collect cannabis packing waste and donate it to Kindness3D. NSLC spokesperson Beverley Ware said they don't have the means to do that, however.
"We do not recycle bottle or cans and don't have the room in our stores to provide such a drop-off service or the infrastructure to deliver products for recycling," Ware said.
Kindness3D has previously made prosthetics for a young girl in Costa Rica and a woman in Brazil. Boudreau says he's hope the plastic collected from cannabis packaging will help him complete another for a four-year-old California girl soon.