Biodegradable Hemp-Based Material Could Replace Conventional Plastics


Conventional plastics have brought significant advancements to our world, but their negative environmental impact cannot be ignored. The majority of plastics are made using chemicals derived from fossil fuels, which can have harmful effects during their extraction and production processes. Additionally, most plastics create waste that is not always recycled.

As plastics degrade, they break down into microplastics, which can be hazardous to various living organisms, particularly marine life. To combat these issues, researchers have developed plant-based plastics, such as cellophane, and more recently, they have been using industrial hemp as a feedstock for creating innovative bioplastics.

Researchers at Western University in Canada, in partnership with CTK Bio Canada, have developed a new biodegradable material using hemp, which could potentially serve as a sustainable substitute for plastic packaging. It is believed that the material could replace non-degradable plastics, such as high-density polyethylene pellets. The results of the study demonstrate the promise of copolyester-hemp blends for applications where conventional plastics are currently used.

One of the significant advantages of using hemp over other biomaterials is its fibrous structure, which reinforces the strength and flexibility of materials. The researchers used ground hemp stalk powder as filler during the production of the packaging, making it easy to integrate into the current manufacturing process. Because of Canada’s thriving hemp industry, the hemp powder could be utilized as a waste product and effectively transformed into truly environmentally friendly plastic packaging.

Published in The Journal of Polymer Science, the study offers an exciting new direction for sustainable packaging, demonstrating the potential for bioplastic hemp to replace traditional plastics.

Learn more about hemp bioplastics.

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