Jacob Boudreau, founder of Kindness 3D, wanted to do something positive with all the trash from cannabis packaging.
A young boy Maxence, born with a right hand malformation, examines his new 3D-printed hand given to him by the Association for the Study and Assistance of Child Amputees (ASSEDEA) on August 17, 2015 in Cessieu. (Photo by Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)
For a product that’s long been associated with hippies, legal cannabis is often sold in an inordinate amount of landfill-destined plastic packaging. That’s why the founder of Kindness 3D, Jacob Boudreau from Halifax, Nova Scotia, decided to recycle cannabis packaging into prosthetic limbs for kids.
Cannabis in Canada is often sold in multiple layers of plastic packaging due to strict governmental regulations. But as some have pointed out, the regulations imposed on the cannabis industry to make their products childproof are far stricter than those of the alcohol industry. (Not to mention that with alcohol, any child could easily screw off a lid and drink from the bottle; with cannabis, even if a child opened the packaging they would first need to figure out how to roll and light the cannabis inside.)
As a result of these regulations, you might purchase a gram or two of cannabis and be handed a plastic capsule containing the weed, tucked inside its own box, which is then placed into a sealable plastic bag, and then finally placed inside a paper bag to exit the store with.
In Nova Scotia, the province where Boudreau resides, cannabis consumers have taken to social media to complain about the enormous amount of plastic waste that’s being produced by the country’s newest industry. Boudreau took this a step further by shredding the plastic lids from cannabis containers and then feeding the recycled plastic into his 3D printer. He then uses the printer to produce prosthetic limbs.
Boudreau is currently petitioning the NSLC to start directing their used plastic packaging to him so that he can continue putting them to good use. However, the NSLC told CBC that they do not currently have the facilities or resources to collect or deliver recycled cannabis packaging.
This hasn’t stopped Boudreau from crowdsourcing these used bits of cannabis packaging himself. So far, Boudreau has delivered the prosthetic limbs he makes out of discarded cannabis containers to a woman in Brazil, a girl in Costa Rica, and is working on sending another one to a young girl in California.
His company Kindness 3D is a non-profit that aims to provide prosthetic limbs to people around the world who don’t have easy access to them.