Most industries that manufacture a product produce waste. Sometimes, that waste goes into the trash, but other times uses for the waste from one product can make something new. But what about cannabis leftovers.
The ability for what we consider plant waste, when it comes to hemp cannabinoid extraction, to get repurposed and used is astounding. It fuels the eco-friendliness of hemp and demonstrates the multitude of uses for this one single plant.
How it started for Arbor Vita8
One day Arbor Vita8 got a request from a Chicago-based company. Could we ship a few pounds of biomass to them to run a test? Sure. So, off went 10 pounds of biomass.
The test was to see if hemp biomass could grow mycelium. Mycelium is actually part of the fungi kingdom though not always considered a mushroom. However, all mushrooms do come from mycelia.
To create optimal growing conditions for mycelium, you need organic matter. The fungi convert it into nutrients to thrive. In this case, hemp was that organic material.
The reason for this experiment is thanks to the growing applicability of mycelium in a variety of applications. It’s already under consideration for use to create better medicines, materials, biofuels, and more. For this particular experiment, the mycelium was wanted for use as packaging material.
The experiment was a success and actual packaging materials were grown using AV8 cannabis waste. What resulted was a pliable and useful material. It molded to the shape of a product, keeping it much more secure and safe during shipping.
Now you may say, packaging that does this already exists, but it’s not the same. This is an organic material. It’s eco-friendly, sustainable, biodegradable, and a renewable resource. Using hemp to generate it also boosts the environmental potential of hemp. Nothing has to go to waste at all if leftover plant materials can feed the fungi that you use for packaging.
Why environmentally-friendly packaging matters
Looking for alternative types of packaging is becoming more and more important for businesses as consumers are starting to see plastic as a greater evil. Plastic packaging is losing credibility due to it being a single-use item that often ends up as waste in our waterways and landfills. It doesn’t break down fast and, at this point, people are consuming more micro plastics than they can possibly comprehend. It has created islands of pollution in our oceans as well.
To continue their status as environmentally-friendly, companies need to pick a different way to package their materials. Mycelium is taking the lead and in the future may end up being the go-to material for most to-go food containers among other types of packaging.
Some other alternatives, in addition to hemp-fueled fungi, include packaging made from:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Recycled paper
There’s even the possibility that cannabis leftovers could enter the market as a plastic-alternative.
What these products have in common is their ability to biodegrade. Unlike plastic, and many other traditional packaging materials, items made from natural sources will break down when thrown out. Many can even get reused before they eventually become waste, making them even better for the environment.
Making a shift away from plastics to cannabis leftovers will leave a huge, positive mark on the world around us. Businesses taking the initiative to research and select alternatives will also put themselves at the forefront of this fight. It will give consumers a more positive connection to that particular brand as well.
Don’t let your spent biomass go to waste
The future is here and it’s time to show the world how much good hemp can do for the environment. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to repurpose hemp waste or are considering growing your own packaging alternative, contact Arbor Vita8 today. We’re ready to share our own experiences and offer advice on your options. We also sell wholesale biomass of the highest quality at the best price. We look forward to hearing from you.