I’m a firm believer that plastic is necessary for us as humans to function – it would be ignorant to think we can just go cold turkey and have society not skip a beat. Look around at what sorts of gizmos are surrounding you right now and try to tell me differently.
What I’m also a firm believer in is that there are alternatives that we can strategically replace the traditional manufacturing methods with.
Yes. Now enter hemp.
To set the stage, let’s run down a list of “fast facts”, as my buddy A-lew likes to say.
Petroleum Based Plastic:
- Takes between 500-1,000 years to decompose
- Made from Petroleum aka “big oil”
- We throw away 35 billion single use bottles every year
- The ocean has a garbage patch comprised of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch that weigh an estimated 80,000 tonnes
- Toxic – ever heard of BPA’s? Well it’s linked directly to cancer.
Hemp Based Plastic:
- Completely biodegradable
- Stronger than petroleum based plastic
- A renewable resource
It’s hard to argue that petroleum plastic has not only seen better days, but has played a significant role in the destruction of our environment. Although we can’t blame petroleum completely, the argument here is that hemp can be the sustainable alternative.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into some of the details I listed above.
Biodegradable Hemp Plastic:
In the right environment, hemp plastic can decompose in 3-6 months! That’s literally 1000-2000x compared to traditional plastic decomposition.
Not only that, one major flaw of petroleum plastic is that it can only be recycled so many times before it loses its strength and structural integrity. That means that no matter what, most plastic will end up in a landfill at some point in it’s life.
On the contrary, hemp based plastic can be recycled and up-cycled indefinitely. That means there is no “waste” at the end of the bottle, spoon, speaker or solo cup’s life span.
Levels of Toxicity:
To keep it simple for you, traditional plastics contain “endocrine disruptors” aka BPA’s who’s main job in life is to interfere and negatively impact our body’s hormone system. Why is this a problem? Well this disruption has been linked to cancer, birth defects and multiple disabilities.
In short, plastics can mess your day up.
Hemp plastic is completely non-toxic. This is possible because it is made from a plant, which is indigestible, biodegradable and all around eco-friendly.
Versatility aka Just as Good:
I’ll keep this one short and to the point.
Hemp based plastics can do pretty much everything that petroleum based plastics can – I wont say “everything” because I’m not an expert in the field, just a well read activist.
For example, hemp based plastics can be used for a variety of items such as…
- Car Parts
Imagine if you were able to tell your grandma that her iPhone was made from a hemp plant? She’s lose her mind.
First of all, hemp is a weed… Hence the nickname “weed”
This means this stuff grows like Jack’s beanstalk, even without much effort. As a result, it takes a lot less water, care and energy resources to grow insane amounts of biomass for industrial production.
Compare that with traditional plastic, which is made from petroleum, which is oil. When’s the last time you heard anything environmentally friendly about big oil?
Hemp grows in soil with deep roots, helping to cultivate a healthy ecosystem and soil environment for multiple seasons of plants. Not only that, it’s root system helps to keep soil compact and tight, preventing landslides and erosion.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my rant – I’m not trying to convince anyone or make my side of the argument seem “righteous”.
At the end of the day, if I can simply open the eyes of those who were unaware to sustainable alternative, the movement will live on.
Got questions? Send them my way!