We live within what can only be called a disposable society. Since the dawn of mankind, humans have generated significant amounts of waste. This was not necessarily a problem until the Industrial Revolution. As we began to discover new and more durable materials, we failed to recognise the fact that some of these substances would have extremely adverse impacts upon the environment. This was especially relevant when plastic was invented. Plastic represents one of the most profound threats to the planet and thankfully, businesses are beginning to search for healthier alternatives. One material which shows a great deal of promise is hemp. What advantages does hemp have to offer? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this plant-based substance could very well begin to replace plastic in the not-so-distant future.
Hemp is Recyclable
Plastic is dangerous due to the fact that is requires more than 1,000 years to break down into its components. However, hemp will decompose in between three to six months. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, it will not have a lasting impact upon the environment. Secondly, hemp can be used as an effective composting material. In other words, it will help to grow other plants.
A Climate-Friendly Substance
Biodegradable hemp plastic is also surprisingly strong. While many believe that the biodegradable aspects of this plant might equate to physical weakness, it is actually up to 2.5 times more durable than standard plastic. This is critical, as hemp can therefore be used in a wider range of applications than would be possible with plastic. From extra-strong shipping containers to everyday water bottles, the universal nature of hemp cannot be denied.
A Financial Paradigm Shift
It is often frustrating to think about how many billions of pounds oil and petrochemical companies have reaped over the years; particularly when we consider that this was at the expense of the environment. Natural hemp can be produced on a local scale as opposed to remaining the property of big businesses alone. This will help to place money back into the pockets of individual growers. Communities and towns can therefore enjoy a sustainable source of income without placing any additional strain upon the environment.
Additional Intrinsic Qualities
Hemp is indeed a miracle material due to its natural qualities. For example, it is highly resistant to mould and bacteria. Hemp is an effective fireproofing material and it is not toxic. These are some of the reasons why we could see the plant being used in a variety of industries including:
We should also mention that we are only now beginning to appreciate the many advantages that this natural substance has to offer. This is rather ironic, as ancient civilisations were using hemp for centuries. It is therefore time to appreciate that some modern techniques may be more risky than they are worth. In terms of the future, hemp will provide us with a green edge.