Biodegradable plastics have got to be a solution on our immediate radar. The toxic petrochemical and fossil made plastics are littering our globe and will not break down for 500 years. It is clear that our garbage is a problem to be managed and changing material sources is required to move our nation forward. Bio-plastic and cellophanes and packing materials made from hemp cellulose IS biodegradable, non toxic, and can be recycled 7 times. Although technology will begin recovering the fossil fuels left in our nations garbage dumps, it would at minimum, stop adding to the problem.
In 1939, Henry Ford Set out to make a car grown from the soil. He used hemp-and-sisal cellulose plastic to build car doors and fenders in 1941. On video Henry Ford demonstrated that his hemp cars were more resistant to blows from a sledgehammer than steel-bodied cars were. Today, several auto makers including Ford, Lotus, Mercedes, BMW, GM Chrysler, Saturn, Honda are currently using hemp composite panels, boot linings, floor consoles, instrument panels, headliners, columns, seat backs, trunks, and are proving to be as durable as Ford thought they’d be, some eighty years ago. other external components made of organic hemp are lighter, safer in accidents, recyclable, and more durable. Hemp composites are proving to be less expensive and less dangerous than fiberglass counterparts. Hemp fiberglass replacements would only cost 50 to 70 cents a pound. These hemp composites could replace carbon and glass fibers, which have environmental and weight problems, and run from 60 cents to 5 dollars a pound.
A recent technological advance with biodegradable plastics made from cornstarch has led to a new material based on hemp. Hemp Plastics (Australia) have sourced partners who have been able to produce a new 100% biodegradable material made entirely from hemp and corn. This new material has unique strength and technical qualities which have yet to be seen before, and this new material can be injection or blow-molded into virtually any shape using existing moulds, including cosmetic containers, Frisbee golf discs, etc.
Zellform (Austrian) has created a hemp-plastic resin called Hempstone, for use in musical instruments, loudspeakers, and furniture. Hempstone can be carved in almost any shape making the number of applications unlimited.
We should shift gears to a botanical product that can create all the consumable plastics, make up containers, meal toys for our kids, etc out of hemp plastics and resins, and bio-composites. Virtually any shape and purpose can be fulfilled by bio-composite plastics. Now is the time to embrace to grow hemp in the United States to meet our demands in an environmentally good way.