We’re quickly coming into an age where sustainability matters. It’s beyond due, but the fact that more and more companies are paying attention and changing their packaging products is such a good thing. Using different forms of fossil fuel-based plastic, and even tree paper, to package products and food is not sustainable nor environmentally-friendly. So what’s the solution? Hemp packaging!
Plastics made from plants is nothing new. But it is expensive and the United States doesn’t have the infrastructure to fully disrupt the plastic industry. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, however, there is a new player in the plant-based polymer world: hemp. According to Grand View Research, bioplastic will control 40% of the plastic packaging industry by 2030. So, disruption is near!
Hemp is a hardy plant. It grows fast and strong in soil that doesn’t need pesticide protection. Harvesting can happen in four months; it’s a fast-growing industrial plant when compared to trees and cotton. Cultivation takes less space, uses less water, and hemp can be a rotational crop that is harvested midseason.
The most important attribute of the hemp plant is that it takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (another green factor) to create cellulose, 60-75%, which, in turn, is used to make polymers for bioplastic.
Plastic made from hemp polymers biodegrades in six months. Compare that to fossil fuel-based plastic packaging which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Plus, polymers made from discarded hemp hurds can be easily swapped in the manufacturing process. Industries do not need new machinery or technology to make hemp plastic.
Hemp paper is another form of packaging material that is more sustainable than paper or cardboard made from trees. Trees take hundreds of years to grow, need more water, and produce less cellulose. Hemp paper is stronger than tree paper and can be recycled up to seven times, compared to tree paper which can be recycled three or four times.
Paper made from hemp fiber is more compostable and a better option for the environment as a whole. When it comes to eco-friendly packaging options, using hemp products is a more viable option.
Read more about hemp paper and how it’s made here.
Western States Hemp | Hemp Packaging Solutions
Consumers in the cannabis industry and beyond are ready for a more sustainable packaging solution. Many CBD and THC companies sell their products like vapes and prerolls in recyclable hemp packaging in order to tell a biocircular story.
Here at Western States Hemp, we are in the business of growing high-quality industrial hemp. However, we’ve recently acquired processing equipment to turn our discarded hemp materials into fiber to use for hemp plastic and paper.