Hemp Makes Great Plastic, So Why Isn’t Hemp Plastic Everywhere?

Plastic is an inescapable part of our everyday lives, so why is almost all of it still made from polluting, non-renewable petrochemicals?

You may have heard that agricultural hemp, the non-mind-altering cousin of cannabis (commonly known as marijuana), has dozens of potential uses from clothing to paper.

Since virtually all climate scientists agree that we must replace our dependence on fossil fuels, and given that hemp can even make the soil cleaner, it’s surprising that this miracle crop isn’t in wider use.

When we looked into the topic, we found that hemp is already appearing in some commonplace objects, including cars, and could soon find it’s way into more. But there are also remaining barriers that keep hemp plastics more expensive and less versatile, for now.

ALTERNATIVES NEEDED AS PLASTIC POLLUTES WATER & LAND

plastic pollution

Researchers found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on one uninhabited island in the South Pacific. That’s just one island.

Not only are the harmful effects of global warming increasingly clear, conventional plastics linger in the environment and can even enter the food chain to detrimental effect on human and animal health.

In one especially shocking recent example, researchers from the University of Tasmania and the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found 38 million pieces of plastic waste on Henderson Island, an uninhabited coral island in the South Pacific.

“I’ve travelled to some of the most far-flung islands in the world and regardless of where I’ve gone, in what year, and in what area of the ocean, the story is generally the same: the beaches are littered with evidence of human activity,” Jennifer Lavers, a marine scientist from the University of Tasmania, told The Guardian.

The oceans are in a similar or even worse state, thanks to the risk of microplastics, or tiny fragments of plastic that pollute the waters and are often eaten by marine life. The infamous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is actually largely composed of millions of these tiny particles — as much as 1.9 million per square mile — according to a 2014 report from National Geographic.

HEMP CELLULOSE FIBERS A GOOD SOURCE FOR MANY PLASTICS

Some of the earliest plastics were made from cellulose fibers obtained from organic, non-petroleum-based sources.

“Hemp cellulose can be extracted and used to make cellophane, rayon, celluloid and a range of related plastics,” reported Seshata, a writer at Sensi Seeds in 2014. “Hemp is known to contain around 65-70% cellulose, and is considered a good source (wood contains around 40%, flax 65-75%, and cotton up to 90%) that has particular promise due to its relative sustainability and low environmental impact.”

While 100% hemp-based plastic is still a rarity, some “composite bioplastics” — plastics made from a combination of hemp and other plant sources — are already in use. Thanks to their high strength and rigidity, these plastics are currently used in the construction of cars, boats, and even musical instruments.

could hemp be used for plastic bottles

BIOPLASTIC IS PROMISING, BUT CAN’T SOLVE ALL OUR POLLUTION PROBLEMS

Many plastic products are made from polymer resins, including polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, found in everyday products like plastic bottles. While advocates hope to someday see 100% hemp-based plastic bottles on supermarket shelves, the technology just isn’t ready for prime time.

Companies like Coca-Cola have experimented with 100% plant-based bottles, but commercially available products are made from no more than 30% plant-based materials, while the remainder is made from traditional fossil fuel sources.

The good news is that many corporations are investing heavily in researching replacements to traditional PET. It’s likely the first company to produce a viable commercial product could stand to earn millions.

Unfortunately, even plastic that’s deliberately designed to be biodegradable can still be a source of pollution. Almost nothing biodegrades in a landfill, and hemp microplastics could still cause problems when introduced to the oceans. Biodegradable plastics need to be sent to commercial composting facilities for efficient disposal, and these facilities aren’t available to everyone. In addition to creating better alternatives to plastic, we’ll still to create more responsible attitudes toward disposable products.

COST AND THE WAR ON DRUGS ARE BIGGEST BARRIER TO HEMP PLASTIC

While fossil fuel costs are kept low with subsidies, hemp products for the most part remain costly luxury items. While some hemp is grown in the United States under pilot programs legalized by the 2014 Farm Bill, most is still imported from other countries.

Though hemp requires fewer pesticides and has a smaller environmental footprint than many other crops, growing and harvesting it remains labor intensive. Another drawback is that hemp requires “significant fertiliser in some soils, and also has relatively high water requirements,” as noted by Seshata.

However, hemp prices would almost undoubtedly come down, and technology improve, if we ended the war on drugs — particularly the many restrictions on legally growing hemp and cannabis.

could hemp plastic be used for legos
One of the most provocative examples of hemp’s potential plastic future could come from LEGOs, the ubiquitous building block toy. which is promising to phase out fossil-fuel based resin by 2030.

“Hemp might just be the cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for,” speculated Emily Gray Brosious in a February 2016 investigation from the Sun Times.

Whether or not we’re ever able to build a spaceship from hemp bricks, the full promise of hemp plastic remains tantalizingly close, but just out of reach.

Ministry of hemp

 

2018-10-23T13:54:36+00:00

38 komentara

  1. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you’re talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk over with my website =).

    We can have a link trade arrangement among us Billiga Manchester City Kläder
    Barn På Nätet

  2. how to get help in windows 10 28. svibnja 2019. at 9:41 - Reply

    I will right away grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognise so that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  3. gamefly free trial 1. lipnja 2019. at 2:22 - Reply

    Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this site regularly, this
    web site is truly pleasant and the users are truly sharing nice thoughts.

  4. Real Madrid tröja 1. lipnja 2019. at 22:39 - Reply

    Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard
    time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems
    different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!
    Real Madrid tröja

  5. gamefly free trial 7. lipnja 2019. at 21:48 - Reply

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  6. how to get help in windows 10 17. srpnja 2019. at 9:33 - Reply

    I love it when folks get together and share views. Great website, continue the good work!

  7. plenty of fish dating site 23. srpnja 2019. at 17:03 - Reply

    Wonderful, what a web site it is! This website gives valuable data to us, keep it up.

  8. natalielise 24. srpnja 2019. at 16:41 - Reply

    Hi, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is
    sharing facts, that’s actually excellent, keep up
    writing. natalielise plenty of fish

  9. ETIAS 6. rujna 2019. at 13:38 - Reply

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find
    out where u got this from. thanks

  10. chair builder 17. rujna 2019. at 0:11 - Reply

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest
    of the site is extremely good.

  11. ESTA Visa 18. rujna 2019. at 20:36 - Reply

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  12. minecraft games 24. rujna 2019. at 20:40 - Reply

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  13. viagra 26. rujna 2019. at 7:22 - Reply

    Hi colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say on the topic
    of this paragraph, in my view its genuinely remarkable
    for me.

  14. Bail Bonds in Tampa Florida 28. rujna 2019. at 0:57 - Reply

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of
    your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content
    available for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post
    or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write concerning here.
    Again, awesome web log!

  15. Tampa Bail Bonds 28. rujna 2019. at 10:20 - Reply

    I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet users, its really really fastidious piece of writing on building up new web
    site.

  16. SMS Marketing services Dubai 8. listopada 2019. at 5:37 - Reply

    Hi there, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing information, that’s really
    good, keep up writing.

  17. After I initially commented I appear to have
    clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a
    comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  18. It’s amazing to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all mates
    regarding this post, while I am also keen of getting familiarity.

  19. tinyurl.com 23. studenoga 2019. at 17:10 - Reply

    Truly when someone doesn’t know afterward its up
    to other viewers that they will assist, so
    here it takes place.

  20. best cbd oil for pain 26. studenoga 2019. at 0:48 - Reply

    Hi to all, as I am really eager of reading this website’s
    post to be updated daily. It consists of pleasant information.

  21. Free Games 27. studenoga 2019. at 6:04 - Reply

    Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i
    own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  22. ps4 games 28. studenoga 2019. at 22:58 - Reply

    Hi to every one, the contents existing at this web page are really remarkable for people experience,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.

  23. quest bars cheap 30. studenoga 2019. at 5:59 - Reply

    Your mode of describing all in this piece of writing is genuinely
    pleasant, every one be able to simply be aware
    of it, Thanks a lot.

  24. khosim 8. prosinca 2019. at 15:45 - Reply

    Having read this I believed it was very informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount
    of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  25. Death 9. prosinca 2019. at 14:51 - Reply

    Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in web explorer,
    would test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and
    a good part of folks will leave out your magnificent writing
    because of this problem.

  26. quest bars cheap 10. prosinca 2019. at 0:00 - Reply

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
    Many thanks for providing this information.

  27. dr auto sales scottsdale az 11. prosinca 2019. at 6:48 - Reply

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
    you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired
    of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for
    another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  28. dr auto sale glendale 11. prosinca 2019. at 6:58 - Reply

    I am in fact grateful to the holder of this web page who has shared this great piece of writing at
    here.

  29. erotik 13. prosinca 2019. at 20:34 - Reply

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your
    blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  30. coconut oil 17. prosinca 2019. at 20:49 - Reply

    I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any
    internet browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog
    audience have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer
    but looks great in Safari. Do you have any advice to help fix this problem?

  31. interesting article 19. prosinca 2019. at 7:16 - Reply

    Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the
    same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  32. coconut oil 19. prosinca 2019. at 9:59 - Reply

    I have read so many posts about the blogger lovers except this paragraph is
    genuinely a pleasant paragraph, keep it up.

  33. free diet pills 21. prosinca 2019. at 11:22 - Reply

    Hi mates, its great piece of writing about teachingand entirely explained, keep it
    up all the time.

  34. best cbd oil for pain 29. prosinca 2019. at 5:55 - Reply

    Great work! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around
    the internet. Disgrace on the seek engines for now not positioning this post higher!
    Come on over and discuss with my website . Thanks =)

  35. https://russellwebster.tumblr.com/ 1. siječnja 2020. at 1:17 - Reply

    I don’t even know how I finished up right here, but I assumed this publish was great.
    I don’t know who you’re however certainly you are
    going to a famous blogger if you happen to are not already.
    Cheers!

  36. Evelyn McIlrath 12. siječnja 2020. at 3:36 - Reply

    Hello

    I am a vape and CBD seo freelancer and I thought that my services may be of interest to you. I can build quality vape and CBD backlinks for your site to help you to bump up your organic search engine rankings, traffic and sales.

    I am going to spare all the details here but you can learn more about and order my packages at https://www.sweatyquid.com/proposals/wrappedinseo/i-will-build-backlinks-on-powerful-vape-and-cbd-blogs

    I look forward to working with you!

    Regards

    Michael

  37. sling tv 15. siječnja 2020. at 11:06 - Reply

    Hello! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs
    up for your excellent info you’ve got right here on this post.
    I am returning to your website for more soon.

  38. sling tv best package 2020 24. siječnja 2020. at 18:14 - Reply

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!

Leave A Comment

eighteen − 5 =