Let the jokes begin: plastic injection molders are “high” on hemp bioplastic… They don’t want any byproducts of the crop to go to “pot” … they would like to “smoke” their competition by transitioning away from non-sustainable, un-“green” polymers to sustainable, very-green hemp bioplastic.
But this is no joke: many plastic injection molders think bioplastics, in general, and hemp bioplastic, in particular, are the next big thing in the industry.
Why? The entire trend toward green products is a big driver, they say. Brand-conscious consumers want to be seen as earth-friendly in all that they do, say and buy. Hemp bioplastic fits right in with this ethos. It’s very much in keeping with the times, as more and more states legalize hemp’s more famous cousin, marijuana.
As long as we’re on the subject, let’s clear the air (nope, couldn’t resist that): the two weeds are the same species — cannabis sativa l — but different varieties. So there isn’t much hereditary difference between the two. But years of breeding and manipulation have led to the emergence of two types of cannabis: one for medicinal and recreational purposes; the other for agricultural and industrial uses.
Bioplastics refers to any plastic that is plant-based, biodegradable, or both, and substitutes fossil-based carbon in plastic with carbon from renewable sources such as corn or hemp. And while oil prices are comparatively low today, that could change tomorrow, giving low-cost hemp even a larger price advantage than it does today.
Bioplastics are developed to work in existing plastic injection molding equipment and possess the same versatility of petroleum-based plastics to be formed into virtually any kind of packaging, furnishings, medical equipment and more. In other words, bioplastics require neither new infrastructure nor the development of new technologies.
It’s no wonder then, that molders are sativating over hemp’s potential in the years ahead!