Plastic has permanently changed the way we interact with the world. It’s cheap to produce, lightweight, and shows up in everything from medical equipment to single-serve containers.
Despite its usefulness, plastic does not have a good reputation when it comes to the environment. Traditional petroleum-based plastics can take up to 1000 years to completely degrade, clogging up landfills and oceans in the meantime. What’s worse is that when these products do eventually break down, they release toxic byproducts that can be destructive to ecosystems. Not to mention, the plastic industry is a massive consumer of fossil fuels. Nearly 8 percent of the world’s oil goes into plastic production.
But what if there was a way to glean all the benefits of plastic – the versatility, the strength, the cost-effectiveness – while still remaining a good steward of the plant? With hemp-based bioplastic, it might actually be possible.
Plastic is a relatively new material, only sixty years old. In its short lifespan, plastic has seen an explosion of use. In fact, we produced nearly 360 million tons of the stuff in 2018 alone – a vast majority of which will end up outliving our grandkids.
Recently, in an effort to get away from all this plastic use, many companies are opting to use paper instead. All over the country, restaurants have transitioned to paper straws instead of conventional plastic straws, and some cities have banned the use of plastic drinking straws altogether. Companies like Boxed Water are sprouting up offering biodegradable paper alternatives to single-use plastics. They offer a great way to get the convenience of a product like bottled water without the negative environmental impact.
We here at e1011 labs are on board too. Instead of using traditional vape cartridges that are laden with plastic, the stelo™ which contain our premium CBD-rich hemp are made completely out of planet-friendly paper.
Unfortunately, not everything plastic can simply be replaced by paper. In order to help mitigate the human contribution to climate change, we need to explore every possible option to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s where hemp plastic comes in.
What is Hemp Plastic?
Hemp is an incredibly versatile crop that’s been utilized for centuries. Its stalks can be used for textiles and building materials, its seeds have culinary benefits, and its buds are teeming with therapeutic terpenes and cannabinoids. But that’s not all!
Hemp is almost 70% cellulose – an organic material that makes up the cell walls in plants. Cellulose also happens to be commonly used in the production of paper and certain types of plastic making it an ideal base material.
Currently, plastics made entirely out of biological material are a rarity, but hemp cellulose is already being utilized to make things like boats, musical instruments, and even cars.
Even your favorite childhood building block LEGO toy bricks may soon be making use of hemp cellulose. The Danish company has announced plans to move to a new, more eco-friendly material by 2030, and hemp may be just what they’re looking for. We hope they also plan to use hemp bioplastic packaging to go with their hemp plastic bricks..
Thanks to leaders in the industry, like The Hemp Plastic Company, bioplastics and other biodegradable hemp technologies may soon come to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics in our everyday lives. Imagine the huge difference it would make in our environment just by shifting to hemp plastic bottles, hemp straws and hemp plastic bags.
Benefits of Hemp Plastic?
The most glaring benefit of bioplastic is its biodegradability. Regular plastic takes centuries to break down, while hemp plastic products can fully degrade in a matter of months. But here’s the best part: because bioplastics aren’t made from fossil fuels when they do degrade they don’t produce greenhouse gasses.
Bioplastics offer a long term solution to the human need for polymers. Unlike the fossil fuels that make up your standard plastic, hemp is a renewable resource. Petroleum took millions of years to form, and when it’s gone it’s gone. Hemp on the other hand can continue to be replanted and is actually good for the soil.
It’s not just the environment that stands to benefit either, hemp plastics may actually be better for your body too. The harmful chemicals in plastic that are released into the atmosphere when they eventually break down can also leech into consumables. So if you’re using traditional plastic for food storage or even cannabis packaging, you could also be ingesting potentially toxic chemical byproducts.
The Power of Hemp
Hemp is truly an incredible plant. Not only is it an excellent eco-friendly plastic substitute, but it's cannabinoid-rich buds also make a great addition to your daily wellness routine. Order a Starter Bundle today, and see just what hemp can do for you!