Engineers and manufacturers are discovering new and exciting industrial uses for hemp. One of the most important is the development of hemp as a bioplastic.
Companies are moving away from petroleum-based plastics. Also, there is a growing interest in harvesting sustainable crops for producing bioplastics. Hemp’s durability and versatility makes it a perfect option to fill this need.
Maybe you’ve heard some of these terms before but aren’t quite sure what it all means. Let’s look at what’s in store for the future of hemp.
What is a bioplastic?
Bioplastics are a kind of plastic made from renewable biomass resources. Industries across the world use bioplastics in:
- Food packaging
- Consumer products
Many bioplastics are also biodegradable and compostable. This makes them a viable alternative for fossil-fuel-based plastics. Most bioplastics are made from corn, sugarcane, algae, and even microbes like yeast.
Is hemp a good bioplastic?
Hemp is a great bioplastic source. First, growing hemp is good for the environment. Here are a few benefits of growing hemp:
- One hectare of hemp can capture up to 22 tons of carbon dioxide. That’s more than any other commercial crop, even more than some forests.
- Hemp is a canopy crop. Its deep root system and wide leaf span protects the soil against erosion and damaging sun rays. Corn depletes soil, exposes it to sun, and leads to more erosion and flooding.
- Hemp uses a third of the water that corn needs.
- Hemp produces robust plants without harsh chemicals or fertilizers.
The large amount of carbon dioxide that hemp absorbs from the atmosphere creates high cellulose content in its fibers. The fibers are then manufactured into bioplastics that are:
- Dense and lightweight.
- More durable and flexible than other plastics.
- Biodegradable and compostable.
What’s the potential growth for hemp bioplastics?
The use of industrial hemp has increased in every major industry. Analysts say the global industrial hemp market may grow by 25 percent over the next five years. Also, by 2030, up to 40 percent of the plastics industry could be bioplastics. Big and small companies will be using these materials for a range of products.
Traditional plastics release harmful gases into the air. They also leak dangerous byproducts into the ground and water. This creates an immediate need for an alternative to petroleum-based plastics. Hemp is ready and willing to step up to the plate, and the versatility of the plant puts it in a good position to disrupt the plastic industry.
Want to learn more about the hemp market?
Hemp can play a big role in the shift toward large-scale sustainability. Also, its perfect qualities for industrial use include:
- Growing fast.
- Creating durable materials.
- Overall, it is a versatile plant with many proven uses.
The future of eco-manufacturing is here, and it is growing. At Arbor Vita8, we can help you get involved with this cutting-edge, global market. We also connect the public with a range of top-quality hemp products, including wholesale hemp biomass. If you want to learn more, contact our friendly, experienced team today.