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Is Hemp Plastic the Answer to the Single-Use Plastic Problem?

Hemp Plastic

A Moment in Use, 10 Lifetimes in a Landfill

We all know that single-use plastics are a plight on our oceans and environment. A single plastic grocery bag takes 1000 years to decompose in a landfill, and even then it doesn't fully break down. Recycling isn't even a redeeming prospect for plastics. In fact, 91% of all plastics aren't recycled at all and wind up in landfills.

Many single-use plastics like straws, cup lids and cutlery, are too small for the average recycling machine to sort properly and aren't accepted by recycling centers. Reports show that plastic production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every point in its life cycle.

Hemp Plastic

Plastics are a Necessary Evil in Some Cases

And yet, single-use plastics play a vital role for some items like surgical gloves or straws for disabled people. What if there was a better product? What if there was a plastic that could actually help the environment as it biodegrades and is made with a crop that is actually a carbon-negative renewable resource? Because hemp and hemp plastics are all of those things.

Conservatively, hemp as a crop grows 30x faster than trees* and consumes more Co2 than it emits in production. Hemp plastics can be made with 100% hemp resins or blended with other polymers so they can actually be biodegradable or compostable.

When you consider how many plastic bags your average department store uses in a month,  or how many cups, lids, straws and cutlery a fast-food chain goes through, finding a sustainable option makes sense.

Hemp Plastic is a New Frontier

Even though industrial hemp is one of the first recorded crops, the hemp plastic industry is still a frontier open for opportunity.

Companies like The Hemp Plastic Company and Sana Packaging both offer sustainable products made using hemp hurd. Both companies are based in the US and pride themselves on localizing their supply chains as much as possible.

If a large corporation like McDonald's or Walmart were to embrace and adopt hemp plastic, it would truly be a game-changer for both the industry and the environment. Imagine being able to compost all of that small, single-use plastic waste. Not to mention the fact that your straw wouldn't go soggy before you finished your drink.

About Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp.

CGT is an award-winning Calgary-based engineering & manufacturing company specializing in hemp products and processing technologies. An off-shoot of an international-award-winning industry group in business since 1987, CGT is an industry leader with unparalleled expertise in hemp processing and the only supplier of complete whole-plant hemp processing facilities in North America, having developed, designed, engineered, and manufactured the state-of-the-art HempTrain™ Advanced Processing Plant.

Stay tuned for updates. Follow Canadian Greenfield Technologies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For videos on real-world applications of hemp products, demonstrations, and ground-breaking technologies, subscribe to CGT’s YouTube Channel.

*Conservatively according to my boss, an engineer, who is way better at math than me and estimates that if a 1-tonne tree takes 30 years to mature, a 1-acre crop of industrial hemp can produce the same amount in one growing season

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