The need to conserve the environment has increased dramatically in the past few years.
With a rise in climate consciousness, hemp-based plastic is bringing a new era to the industry.
What are hemp-based plastics?
The hemp plant contains plenty of cellulose in the stem.
By processing, this can be easily converted to bio plastics.
What is the advantage? It is a plant product and not an oil-based one.
Whereas normal plastic takes many centuries to degrade, hemp plastics can decompose in a few months.
The idea is not new. As early as the 1940s Henry Ford, the legendary carmaker, had created a hemp bio plastic car.
In the past decade, hemp has made a strong comeback. Hemp clothing was the first to get our attention. It was followed by hemp seeds as a diet supplement. Now the world is seeing the transformative power of hemp plastic.
The big question is whether it has side effects or can prove to be harmful in any way.
What makes hemp plastics sustainable?
We analyze the reasons which make hemp bio plastics sustainable.
- Clean Manufacture
Traditionally, for the last eight decades, we have made plastic from petroleum. It is largely a byproduct of oil refining. That is why it is cheap and easily available.
The crude oil refining process is far from ideal. The refining industry is the third-largest producer of greenhouse gas (after transportation and coal-based power plants).
Compared to this mess, hemp plastic manufacturing is absolutely clean. All that is necessary is the extraction of cellulose from the dried stem.
This is achieved easily through age-old methods without harming the environment.
This is a huge plus point.
The landfills can’t take any more plastic. The oceans are suffering from a deluge of waste. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers 1.6 million sq km, an area roughly one-sixth the size of Europe.
Hemp plastic decomposes really quickly. In at most six months, a buried price of bio plastic would have completely changed to compost.
Essentially, it means we can reuse landfills. Either the compost is used for agricultural purposes or we use the land for housing, etc.
Toluene, benzene, and similar chemicals produced by refineries are carcinogenic. Constant association with them might cause cancer. This is a health risk that many workers in the oil industry are exposed to.
If ingested, these chemicals can cause death.
The use of hemp plastic provokes no such risk. After all, agriculture has been our occupation for thousands of years with no side effects.
Are there any downsides to Hemp Plastics?
Not really. The only potential problem is the lack of supply.
For too many years, farmers have thought of sugarcane and cotton as the only cash crops.
It is very recently that hemp has entered the picture. In fact, not even four years have elapsed since the cultivation was made legal in the US.
As more farmers come to know about how easily hemp can be cultivated, the supply bottleneck would ease greatly.
What does the future hold?
Hemp bio plastics are here to stay. Conventional plastic is on the way out.
Bio plastics are excellent for fabrication. They can be used perfectly in injection molds.
The emergence of hemp bio plastics is yet to make an impact due to supply constraints. That does not mean it is not making waves.
Switch from devastation to conserving our environment with Hemp Bio plastics.