Hemp vs. Plastic – Which is the best material?
No doubt, plastic is a ductile and inexpensive material. This is the reason the majority of companies are using it in a wide range of industries – i.e. from making pencils to heavy jets. The applications are numerous indeed.
Plastic – in general – is manufactured from carbon-chained polymers, which allow the manufacturers to mold it into any shape. Thus, plastic is an ideal material for almost all kinds of uses.
A recent research study has reported that 50% of all plastic manufactured is used in packaging. The study also revealed that most of the plastic material is designed for single-use, which is then discarded.
There have been many efforts to promote recyclable containers on a global scale, data shows that there are still over 300 million tons of plastic material manufactured every year. The amount of plastic recycled is only 10%, which means the rest of it ends up as litter in our environment.
Plastic waste is not the only issue that we have to deal with. There is a higher risk to both humans and animals – in particular – the methods and techniques used to make it. Plastic is chemically-made material, which is non-biodegradable and highly toxic. It releases harmful toxins in the atmosphere and takes a long period of time to decompose.
For instance, the average plastic shopping bag can take up to 500 years before it starts to decompose. Each day, plastic-based shopping bags stagger 100-1000 years for decomposition.
On the other hand, hemp is the most valid and probably the best solution or alternative to the plastic problem. In the U.S, we are consuming over 3000 tons of hemp annually. Hemp has a wide range of applications in our daily lives.
Why Hemp is Better than Plastic
There are many industries in the world that have started using hemp as an alternative to plastic. Not only this is a popular material in the clothing industry but when it comes to replacing plastic, many automobile companies such as Ford, BMW, Honda, and Mercedes are also using hemp-made composite parts for most car models.
Hemp is all about getting the strongest and durable material known as the cellulose. Plastics are developed with the use of cellulose. However, it is important to comprehend that the plastic mostly used today gets its cellulose from petroleum. The composition of petroleum includes toxic petrochemicals, which are not only toxic but also non-sustainable.
In contrast, the hemp plant is composed of over 80% natural cellulose – creating a unique plastic material, which is 100% biodegradable. Hemp – like a plant – consumes three times more carbon monoxide from the climate compared to any other plant.
Recent research has shown that hemp fiberglass is less expensive than carbon-based fiberglass. Fiberglass made from hemp material is safer, stronger, lighter, and less prone to damages than its metal counterparts.
Wrapping up, we need to get rid of plastic material and make efforts to raise awareness regarding the use of hemp-based products so that we can reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions in the air. Products like hemp shopping bags can play a huge role in it. So, all of us should pay keen attention to them and use them for the sake of our green and healthy environment.