Hemp is a naturally grown plant that has many benefits, but unfortunately, it has been known for its side effects rather than the numerous benefits. Every part of this plant can be used to benefit human beings. The hemp seeds have the highest amount of THC, and if taken in large amounts, can lead to toxification. Hemp plastic is a rather newly introduced term, but many people think that it would be the material of the future. Since Hemp is produced in a large quantity and can be grown easily, it will be profitable to use it as a substitute for plastic.
LEGO Going Green
By the end of the year 2030, Lego plans to go green. The company is investing big amounts in order to get rid of the plastic they have been using for the last 60 years. The company roughly manufactured 60 billion Lego blocks each year and by the end of 2030, they will be eliminating plastic and using Hemp. The decision has been taken after complete research, which showed that Hemp would not only be cost-efficient but also a sustainable option.
Through the annual output of Lego bricks and the significance of using hemp plastic to replace raw materials, an atmosphere will be created: the development of hemp plastic in the main sectors is now unstoppable.
The Future of Hemp Plastic
Today plastic is one of the greatest problems mankind is facing. We are producing tons of plastic every day, which means adding to pollution and dumps every day. Regular plastic takes a lifetime to breakdown. Most plastic types never decompose and are then dumped into landfills and oceans, making the situation even worse. Hemp cellulose can be used to make plastic related products that can be decomposed easily. The sustainability and the low environmental impact make it a favorite of the environment enthusiasts.
The answer to the question, ‘why people think Hemp is the future plastic?’ is because of the versatility of the plant. Each part of it is used in a way that can produce something beneficial. The plant can be used to make lightweight plastic, insulation material as well as bio-composites. We might be hearing about hemp plastics now, but the truth is that it is as old as plastic. After the Second World War, many people used Hemp to make plastic since it was high in cellulose and very cheap to manufacture. The easy availability made it a favorite for many low-income industries. A few advantages of using hemp plastic are:
- Nontoxic for animals and humans
- Strong plus versatile
- Helps the environment
Why Don’t We Make All Our Plastics from Hemp?
Despite the fact that hemp plastic can be easily made and is also economical, it is still not readily produced. Only very few manufacturers are ready to manufacture hemp plastic. Many farmers harvest Hemp each year; some use the seed while the others the plant parts, but in the end, some parts of plants are left that can be used in manufacturing hemp plastics.
The question arises, if Hemp is sustainable and good for the environment, then why is it not being used on a greater scale? We have relied on plastic for such a long time that now, almost everyone depends on this industry. When we talk about banning plastic, there are hundreds and thousands of people who will lose their job, and then this will affect the prices of other commodities as well. The petroleum sector will be the one that will be the worst hit. If you want to produce enough Hemp to meet the requirements of the entire world, we will have to cut down forests to create space for cultivation. This is not a very feasible thing to do. The world definitely has the option of cutting down the use of plastic and using Hemp plastic to some extent. It can be introduced in the main industries that use plastic the most. Being responsible for plastic disposal is also a very important step in the right direction.
Is it Possible to Return to the Plastic-Free Era?
The answer to the question is not a simple yes or no. It is deeper than that. Returning to the plastic-free era is almost impossible, but we can still make a conscious effort. Today most of the things we use have major components of plastic, from our toothbrushes to the stationary we use. Plastic has become such a normal part of our lives that eliminating it from lives will take a lot of effort. Many countries recently imposed a ban on single-use plastic bags, and this came with severe backlashes. Some people acknowledge this move by the governments while others are criticizing it since many industries rely on the production of plastic. Eliminating plastic from our lives is not that easy and going back to the plastic-free era is difficult.
We have come across many families who have taken the step to reduce the amount of plastic they consume each day. It could start by carrying your fabric bags to the grocery store or buying from a store that doesn’t sell plastic bags. This requires you to put in some extra effort. Another rather popular product is the bamboo toothbrush, this can be used as a regular toothbrush, but it is made out of wood. Plastic water bottles have also been replaced by stainless water bottles. This is a sustainable option; plastic bottles add to the large heaps of the trash that are either landfilled or dumped in the ocean. If we put in a collective effort, we can at least stop the use of one-time-use plastics.
Correctly View the Value of Plastic.
Plastic was introduced about a century ago and ever since has been used in masses. But when it was manufactured at first, no one knew it had the tendency to destroy our environment in such a way. There is a big misconception about plastic that is non-recyclable. Certain plastic types have the tendency to be recycled, and this is good plastic. Some plastics also get decomposed in the environment naturally; it all depends on the composition of the materials used.
There are also a number of benefits that are associated with plastic and due to which plastic cannot be completely eliminated from our lives and industries.
- Fuel Economy
Since plastic is a light material as compared to other metals and materials, it is used in automobiles as well. It improves the aerodynamics of the car but also the fuel consumption since less is consumed in moving the car forward.
- Reduced Packaging
As plastic is a light material, less is consumed in packaging. The packaging material is getting compact, like the Tupperware, for example.
- Lower Consumption of Natural Resources
Other materials, like paper, requires several natural resources in its production process. Since plastics are synthetic, they consume lesser natural resources, and the production process is also cheap.
Plastics Aren’t Wrecking the Environment – People Are.
This is where individual responsibility is required. We have seen in the past how governments have taken initiatives to stop the use of one-time plastics, but until the citizens take responsibility, the true sense of it cannot be achieved. All the trash that comes onshore each day is not dumped by the governments in the oceans, but it is the mess that we have created ourselves. Several seashores across America have been closed due to massive garbage that the high tides dump on shores. This is a reminder of our actions and what we have created of our mother earth. Hence, plastics are not wrecking the environment; humans are.
Each year tons and tons of plastic are manufactured, and even more is dumped in landfills. Unfortunately, most plastics are not decomposed naturally; they take hundreds of years to turn into material that can self-decompose, to some extent. This also means that all the plastic that has been produced until now is still present in one form or another.
How do We Restrain Ourselves?
The first initiative that has to be taken is to limit the manufacturing of one-time-use plastics. This includes shopping bags, straws, water bottles, and all disposable plastic products like plates, coffee cups, plastic cutlery, etc. This has to be a conscious effort made by the population all over the world. Several responsible countries have strict policies regarding plastic recycling, but still, many smaller and developing countries do not even have legislation for this problem.
The transition will be tough and will also take years to get used to the new normal, but if we want to have a sustainable environment, this is critical. If we carry on with consuming plastic at the present rate, it is not very long before this earth becomes a plastic hub. Pollution has also become a serious hazard, and something needs to be done before it is too late. Eliminating plastics might not be an option, but responsible use is the way forward. Each person or family should estimate the use of plastic in their lives and then work on reducing consumption. Start by limiting the use of disposables, replace your water bottle with a stainless-steel bottle, start using wooden spoons and brushes. Hemp plastics can also be introduced in the mainstream industries.
If a plastic-free future is not possible, then we can always rely on Hemp plastics. The governments should take initiatives and promote the use of this plastic to make it even more effective. Other companies should follow Lego’s footsteps and make their contribution is going plastic-free. The transition will take time but the results will be long-lasting.