The uses of Hemp – the Cannabis plant that doesn’t get you high – have long been neglected.
We look at how companies are using the plant to create new bioplastics. Could Hemp plastic be an answer to a world problem?
Traditionally, plastics are made from petroleum-based compounds, which release toxic gases into the atmosphere. These plastics are non-biodegradable and have negative impacts on our land, water, and wildlife.
What is Hemp plastic?
It’s a bioplastic made using industrial hemp. The most planet-friendly is 100% pure hemp, made entirely from the hemp plant. It is recyclable and 100% biodegradable. They are non-toxic, pesticide-free, recyclable and biodegradable within six months. In addition, both lighter and 3.5 times stronger than common polypropylene.
It’s more solid than traditional plastics. Tests have shown it to be five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than traditional plastic. This is due to its structural composition.
More useful than traditional plastics
Due to its durability and strength, Hemp plastics can replace traditional plastics for a much wider variety of uses. For instance:
Building Structures – Hemp Plastics are sturdier than fibreglass, therefore it’s an ideal replacement for building components that traditionally use standard plastic-based structures. It’s believed that in the near future, entire homes and buildings can be constructed from Hemp Plastic and Hemp fibres. The benefits of building living structures from Hemp plastic are immense. Hemp fibres are heat resistant, which means it offers great thermal insulation as well as UV protection.
Transportation – Car manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers are already looking at plant-based bioplastics. In 2014, Canadian company Hempearth set about creating the world’s first plane made from and powered by Hemp. The seats, the wings and the plane walls are all built from Hemp Plastic. In addition, the plane runs on Hempearth Hemp Jet-A Bio Fuel.
Packaging – We all know the damage single-use plastics cause to our planet and wildlife. Hemp is a cost-effective, easily grown plant. Sana Packaging is just one of the companies that are producing new packaging products. It’s looking to create a circular economy using 100% plant-based hemp plastic, 100% reclaimed ocean plastic and other sustainable materials.
But, there’s always a barrier.
Unfortunately Hemp-based plastic has a way to go before it can practically replace its petroleum counterpart. The global supply chain for crude oils, used to make conventional plastics, is the most sophisticated (not to mention aggressively maintained) on the planet.
But with global support, this can change, business needs to use an alternative sooner rather than later.
For more information read this article from EuroAsia news on: