The Environmental Impact: Snus and Nicotine Pouches and Sustainability

The Environmental Impact: Snus and Nicotine Pouches and Sustainability

In 2024, it’s no secret that the environment is an important topic for many. Whether it’s climate change, recycling, carbon emissions, electric vehicles, renewable energy, or any myriad of topics that revolve around this subject, there’s no area of our lives that aren’t touched by being environmentally conscious. And yes, that even extends to snus, chew bag, and nicotine pouch usage! There are some parts of this that relate to us, but there are things that manufacturers are doing, as well! Today, we’re going to look at all sorts of topics in this area that relate to responsible snus and nicotine pouch usage, as well as ways we can all live to be more environmentally conscious. 

I may not have an electric car, but we have been trying to find ways to live more sustainably here around our farm. We have almost zero waste - any food waste we have goes to our pigs, or back into compost that we use to grow food. We are in the process of setting up solar here, which I’m very excited about. We also are working on ways to re-use rain water for our garden, which is really neat. I’m looking forward to that. But there are many ways you can think of the earth even if you don’t live on a farm like we do. It’s all about taking an extra few minutes out of your day to think about how we can better support the Earth! It has been encouraging over the past several years to see people in larger numbers joining in this fight, and finding ways to care more for the world around us.

Now that I’ve done my little speech about all that, let’s get into the world of snus and nicotine pouches and see how snusers and companies in general can live more sustainably! 


When I think of sustainability in the smokeless tobacco world, the first company that comes to mind is Another Snus Factory. Their “Plant Can” was an industry first. It was the first environmentally friendly snus can to hit the market. They say the Plant Can is “made out of 100% plant based plastic created with pine-tree oil extracted from waste material of the forest industry”. The factory also only relies on plug-in hybrid cars. The Plant Can also has a nice feel in the hand. Often, recycled things may not have the best form factor, but companies are getting better at this. The Plant Can is very smooth, and has a nice, comfortable feel in the hand. So, it’s sustainable, but also has a nice feel. And, it’s completely recyclable! Another Snus Company isn’t the only one in this fight, there are many other companies making recycled cans now.



I had a couple Zyn cans from Sweden sitting by my bed and the first thing I thought of was how often I’ve been seeing “recyclable can” now on snus and nicotine pouch cans. You see it on a lot of companies products now than you used to. But, you definitely see it a lot on Swedish Match cans, they’ve been making a major effort to move towards renewable and recyclable cans. A few years back, Swedish Match stopped using black cans for their snus cans, which apparently weren't able to be recycled due to color. This saved about 800 tons every year of non recyclable cans! Also, their loose snus cans come in the "paperboard" format, which is actually made from recycled paper, and these cans are made to biodegrade easy! 

Other companies are joining in this as well, such as BAT. Eighty percent of cans used in Velo products are made from recyclable materials. Ministry of Snus launched an initiative in Estonia that gives you 50 cents for every snus and nicotine pouch can (that has the recyclable sticker on it) recycled there. Outside of Estonia, Ministry of Snus also notes that their cans are all made of 100% recycled plastic. Helwit Nicotine Pouches is another one that talks about sustainability: “Everything we do is with people and the planet in mind. The protective cans containing our pouches are made from pine oil, and our factory is powered by water”. Kurbits Snus, makers of Vid Nicotine Pouches have ISCC certified can. Their cans are made from a process free of fossil energy. The can is made of recycled residue of the pulp making process.

We are starting to see this more and more as the years go by, and I believe eventually this will be something you see with 90-95% of manufacturers. It is good to see companies taking the lead on a lot of these initiatives. Many are also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring their factories are less reliant on fossil fuels.



One thing that often gets overlooked is something that is in 99% of snus cans, nicotine pouch cans, and chew bag cans. It’s right on top of the can: the catch lid! This is one of the most common questions people ask when they are new to products like these, what is this thing? The catch lid is a neat little compartment where you can discard of your used snus portions, nicotine pouches, and chew bags if you aren’t near a trash receptacle. So, instead of throwing them into urinals, on the ground, or in random places, you just toss them into the catch lid. Then, later on in the day, when you find yourself near a trash bin, you can simply empty out your catch lid and go from there! You used to see a lot more pouches littered about, but it seems that has been lessening over time. I like to think the catch lid is a big part of that. 

Also, when you’re out and about, keeping a container in your car to discard of your used pouches is something you can do. I have a little roadie container in my cup holder where I discard of them instead of tossing them out the window. Then, you can empty the container whenever it gets full. You can do this with a number of options, but it is a way to keep pouches from littering the roadside!



Something that I’ve been seeing more of over the past several years is the ability to order and purchase products in bulk. Instead of buying a bunch of cans, you now have the options of buying big packages full of pouches. One I want to bring to your attention is the new XPCT. This is a massive can that contains, for the one pictured here, 400 pouches. It also comes with a single can that you refill over and over again. So, isntead of tossing a bunch of cans into the bin, you’re reusing one can over and over again. Not only is this a way to save money, it’s also a great way to think of the environment. I hope to see more companies embracing this, because it’s a neat way to save money, and to think of the Earth. As someone who uses a lot of General Snus, I think it would be neat to eventually be able to order a big can like this of XRANGE Snus portions, and then put them into my reusable metal cans. I hope we see this grow more in snus, as well as in nicotine pouches.



Another neat thing I remember was a collaboration between Swedish Match and Viking Line. When this initiative was launched, Swedish Match said they were “bringing one of its other core beliefs to the travel retail market: A belief in a better, cleaner, more sustainable world”. This initiative put these receptacles on Viking ships, starting with their Grace and Amorella, which was designed to curb waste in the oceans. I imagine they were seeing people tossing their used snus and nicotine pouch cans off the ship and into the ocean, so this was a pretty neat little endeavor to help curb that.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, even the snus industry has been getting on board finding ways to be more environmentally conscious. Consumers have a part in it, thinking of how we discard pouches, used containers, and how we consume the products we use. But, manufacturers are also leading a lot of the efforts to find ways to make their containers more recyclable, as well as ways for consumers to more easily recycle the containers. From plug-in hybrid cars to factories that emit less greenhouse gasses and use less fossil fuels, the snus industry has been going through a lot of changes over the past several years. It has been a welcome, and encouraging, sight to see. We all have a responsibility in this respect, and this is just one of the important avenues for consumers to check out whenever we are enjoying our snus and nicotine pouch products! Whether you order a bulk container of pouches, or you find ways to recycle your snus and nicotine pouch cans, everyone can do their part!