June 26, 2020

Packaging Options – The Difference is the Quality

Packaging Options – The Difference is the Quality

There is a lot of options on the market for flower packaging these days. As the most cost-effective being bottles, we’d like to take a minute to highlight some differences between our pop-top bottles, and some other options available on the market.

Breaking the comparison down into these categories; Cost, Functionality, Compliance, and Sustainability – in priority order based on what our feedback from customers has been. For this comparison, we will use an eighth of flower as the item to be packaged.


Pop-tops are still the most cost-efficient option to customize in small to medium quantities. It’s a bottle with a good looking label. Easy to pre-pack, store, and retail with a secondary “seed to sale” label. However, all Pop-Tops are not created equal. It’s very obvious when you handle a cheaply made Pop-Top. The wall thickness is flimsy, compromising the CR functionality. These bottles have not been tested and certified, and are simply knock-offs made in China by dirty and careless factories attempting to sell for them for the cheapest price possible.

Our pop-tops are manufactured and stored inside, using automated processes when cycling molds, and filling cases. i.e. these bottles never touch the ground and are not handled by workers directly. Our processes in molding were put in place to service pharmaceutical standards long before the cannabis industry was using bottles.

There are some other options for this 30 dram (1/8th) size on the market.

Push and Turn vials are one option. As it pertains to cost these are generally a more expensive cost per unit because there 3 parts to every push and turn. Lid, Lid insert, and bottle.

Also, when considering costs you must factor TIME as a cost. i.e. the time your fulfillment department or pre-packers are spending opening and closing lids. As an example, if your brand is retailing 5,000 units per week, at an average added time in opening and closing of 3 seconds per unit, this equates to 250 minutes in just opening and closing. 4.16 hours per week, at $15 per hour is $62.40 per week you are spending just opening and closing bottles. So for the annual expense of $2,995 is using a push and turn worth it?

The square Push and turn, self- proclaimed “Air Tight” jar is another option. On average this jar is three times more expensive than a LABELED Pop-Top, with all the same additional time in closing lids. It’s more expensive to label due to the shape and isn’t more air-tight than a premium pop-top.

Bags and Pouches are other options. Yes, these CAN get cheaper than Pop-Tops in large volumes (30,000+) when printed custom. The things to consider about bags; Not recyclable in standard recycling, and there is more fraud as it relates to certifications on bags than any other packaging items. Only a few companies have actual certifications for Child Resistance on this item, if you are buying these from China directly – they are not certified. The biggest downfall of pouches or bags is fulfillment time. Unless you have auto-fill machines that can open a Child Resistant pouch, on average there are 6 seconds spent opening and closing pouches. At the same calculations for 5,000 units per week, you’re looking at 500 minutes per week. (5,000 units x 6 seconds each = 30,000 seconds. Divided by 60 = 500 minutes). Thus 8.3 hours per week at $15 per hour is $5,976 annually spent on labor just opening and closing a bag.

The advantage of pouches is solely compact storage space, which does have cost savings if you are considering cost per square foot of storage space, but in most cases, the labor cost in fulfillment is far greater.

Lastly, the Hemp-based plastic square jar.

Believe me, I’m all for using the plant in every way possible. However, the cost of raw materials to manufacture this is far more expensive than virgin polypropylene. This container is on average three times more expensive. For the arguments about sustainability, as it pertains to a reduced carbon footprint – for sure. However, it’s a number 7 plastic and cannot be recycled through the traditional recycling infrastructure. Decomposition times are not much better. While we are supporters of this movement and working on our own variations of bio-plastic options, currently this is not viable looking at it from a cost-only perspective.


Other than previously mentioned about Child Resistant Certifications, all of these options of functional as long as you are buying premium options, as opposed to knock-offs. The devil is in the details here, as each one of these options has cheaply made alternatives.


Each legal state has different requirements. This is a topic we will address more in a different post, but generally speaking, all of these options are compliant. The only thing to consider for your brand is that using a knock-off is not only NOT Certified, it also can devalue your brand from a perceived value standpoint. It is human nature to associate the product quality to the packaging it is sold in. So their argument of “A pop-top is a pop-top so who cares” does not hold up.


Our Pop-Tops are #5 Recyclable. Meaning they can be recycled in your household recycling bins. This is the same plastic as the Square push and Turns. In both cases, recycling companies do prefer the label to be removed but will take it either way. This plastic is the most commonly used recycled material to re-mold again because of the quality.

Again, we are supporters of the reclaimed or hemp-based option, but there are varying opinions on the true sustainability of this item. We do not deny that a lower carbon footprint is a great thing, but we also heavily consider recycling thus re-using plastic is underrated.

#7 Plastics like hemp-based or Bio-plastics cannot be recycled unless done by a specialty commercial recycler, which is not readily available to the average consumer unless large scale efforts are made to collect and drop off etc… Which by the time you have trucks driving around all over the place to pick up small amounts of these, where does the carbon footprint truly end up?

However, cleaning oceans up (i.e. reclaimed ocean plastics) is a noble cause. We believe straws and single-use water bottles are the larger culprits, and tackling an issue like this deserves a serious conversation.

Mylar Bags and Pouches are similar in nature to #7 plastics. There are some places you can recycle these, but not in your standard recycle. This is due to the make-up of these pouches having to be done in a certain way to achieve the thickness required for a solid bag.

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