Biodegradable Hemp Plastics

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Image retrieved on February 14th, 2014.
Image retrieved from on February 17th, 2013
Image retrieved from on February 17th, 2013.
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Image retrieved from on February 18th, 2014.
Image retrieved from on February 18th, 2014.

Hemp can be used to manufacture plastic products in a variety of different ways, including the following:(1) The hurds are processed into cellophane packaging (plant-based cellophane, common until 1930s, is still in use today). (2) The hurds can be manufactured into disposable plates and cups for a low-cost, compostable Styrofoam replacement. (3) The seed oil can be converted into a valuable plastic resin.
Several German firms are developing 100-percent-hemp cellulose plastic composites for the manufacture of snowboards and skateboards. As was mentioned previously, Henry Ford even used hemp to build car doors and fenders.
Plant-based plastics such as hemp and corn can be completely biodegradable. The use of hemp for plastics will reduce oil consumption and the processing of petrochemicals. Plastic packaging (the kind found inside cereal boxes, for example) made from hemp could be composted at home, eliminating some of the high cost of land filling or of recycling petroleum-based plastics.

pp. 30 Industrial Hemp Practical Products--Paper to Fabric to Cosmetics by John W. Roulac (1995)
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RAW Rollers are NOT MADE IN CHINA and are NOT CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC! Hello and welcome to a truly unique Rolling Machine. Others may appear similar, but after a month they are usually broken. RAW rollers usually last a lifetime. That is the ultimate in sustainability – a product that sustains itself by simply being well built and well designed.

RAW rollers are made using specially produced German Hemp Plastic. We then use a special eco-friendly cold-injection process. Our rolling aprons use double thick vinyl with high tensile strength – they too are designed to last.
RAW rollers are made on the island of Kudus in Indonesia. This is the place where clove cigarettes were first invented in the 1880’s. In Kudus there are still large cigarette factories that hand roll cigarettes. Some employ tens of thousands of people to hand roll cigarettes. In the 1930’s a factory was established to supply the local factories with hand rolling machines. This factory is the oldest existing rolling machine factory in the world. We formed a relationship with them in the 1990’s and now we are their biggest customer – thanks to you! Our factory knows how to make high quality rollers that last for tens of thousands of rolls. Sure we could probably save a ton of money by making our rollers in China like everyone else, but quality is more important than cost to both of us.

Text retrieved from on February 17th, 2014.
I was talking with a friend of mine who is a bamboo advocate and we were discussing how both bamboo and hemp had amazing potentials in todays economy.

But we were stumped as to how they could be used together…

Well, enter Bamboosero. The Bamboo and Hemp Bike. By melding bamboo tubes to hemp-fiber lugs you get a very strong and eco friendly bike frame. But that is not all -

Sales Manager Aaron Kaughman say’s, ‘We’ve all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he feeds his family for a lifetime.” Kaufman says, “Substitute bicycles for fish and you get the idea behind Bamboosero.”‘

So what does that mean?

Aaron Kaufman-Sales Manager
According to the bamboosero website:

Craig Calfee, a frame designer who has built bikes for Greg Lemond and other professional racers, started Bamboosero with the idea that teaching a man (or woman) to build bikes is a long-term solution that can have a lasting impact.

Using bamboo makes this possible. It grows in most of the developing world and makes it far easier to supply a bike builder with raw materials. And it makes a common resource more valuable. Much better than mining or cutting down the forest. Oh. . . and it rides like a dream!

The Bamboosero idea is simple: connect bike builders in developing countries with bike buyers like you.

To buy your own Bamboosero bike click here –

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We all need to drink water to survive. How we obtain that water is another story. The New York Times stated that the average American consumer spends approximately $1,400 each year on plastic water bottles. If these consumers drank the same amount of water, but out of their kitchen faucet instead, they would have spent only $0.49 in the same year. This proves that it is a very attractive alternative for consumers to purchase a reusable water bottle. Financial benefits aside, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the environmental issues these plastic bottles pose. Many people looking to live a “greener” life have sought to purchase a reusable water bottle to remove the need to purchase non-biodegradable plastic bottles.

The reusable beverage containers currently on the market include glass, aluminum, and polycarbonate plastic bottles. Glass containers are very heavy and shatter when dropped from even a low height. Aluminum bottles can be quite expensive and, depending on their thickness, will dent fairly easily. Polycarbonate bottles, again depending on how they are made, chip, crack, and break when dropped. Additionally, none of these beverage containers are biodegradable.

Hemp Plastic Water Bottles will be a more durable, higher heat tolerable, 100% safe, and biodegradable alternative. What's even more interesting is that this product will have a negative carbon footprint. How many products can say that? The carbon taken in by the plant during its life offsets the carbon produced by the machines making the bottle.

This product has the ability to change the world. We chose a reusable water bottle because it is a simplistic product that can be utilized every day of our lives. We all need to drink water to survive, and purchasing bottled water is slowly becoming unacceptable, not to mention detrimental to our health. This product can curb our world plastic consumption, and better our planet in the process.

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With oil prices climbing all over the world, plastics manufacturers are looking to alternative sources of raw material that don't rely on synthetics. British company Hemp Plastics thinks it's on the right track to producing a 100% hemp feedstock plastic. It's current formulation, which uses hemp fiber filler bound with recycled plastic (a petrochemical component which they to replace with a hemp starch polymer) is lightweight, super tough, and even with its oil-based binder, uses far less petroleum than a comparable piece of polycarbonate...We previously profiled their CD cases, and now they are selling a spice grinder and kitchen scale as well. All sales go raise capital to continue their research into a better formula of plastic. They also have created drums, guitars, and didgeridoo molded from the material, and further inquiry might allow their purchase. For us, the cardboardesque color seems a small price to pay for higher durability and a drastic reduction in plastic usage. Prices for the scale and grinder are higher than you would normally pay -- the kitchen scale is $60 US -- but the product is nice, and the cause is important. :: Hemp Plastic Research

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The plastic in your laptop, your car, and anything else you’re currently looking at right now, could be made of hemp. More not likely than so, but still possible. Perhaps more common would be a t-shirt or some sort of “jewelry” you got at the Lilith Fair. Did you know hemp could be a major player in the biofuel industry? The fact is, hemp is an industrial powerhouse, but the potential for its greatness is diminished by its legal status across the globe. While a few countries, such as China and Canada, allow cultivation for industrial purposes, the association of hemp with its fun-loving cousin, marijuana, has sullied chances for widespread production, processing, and distribution of raw hemp materials and products. The hemp industry is good for veganism- and not just because it makes healthy vegan hemp foods. Hemp production and processing for plastics, textiles, and fuel is better for the environment. This means less animals, including humans, dying.

Traditional polymers are made from oil and other toxic additives. Hemp plastics are generally made with a combination of hemp and polymers. Hemp Plastics, Ltd., in the UK, uses a 50/50 mix to achieve strong, durable, and workable material, thereby greatly decreasing environmental detriment from petroleum and other hazardous compounds. They even offer a 100% hemp plastic- although its not feasible for industries running current plastic molding machinery. This could certainly change if hemp becomes more popular as a raw material for modern industry. We could see more cool furniture like this sleek chair from Hemp Plastics.

(Note to Hemp Plastics: I’d be willing to “review” this chair for our readers. I’m sure they’d like to know how comfortable it is and how nice it looks in my living room.)

Surely everyone has heard of hemp-based textiles by now. Of course, hemp rope is commonly cited as one such material, but there are many textile uses of the plant. Surf on over to to get a plethora of ideas. From personal care items such as soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers to more important items for living, such as hemp hammocks, the stuff you can make out of hemp seems limitless. And again, hemp is renewable, toxin-free, and vegan. It’s becoming apparent that, indeed, hemp rules.

But I’m not done with hemp yet. I’m about to tell you that it’s also a biofuel. Hemp fuel could be produced right here in the US- no need to import. It is renewable and biodegradable, and does not produce greenhouse gases. Want a detailed comparison to petroleum? Check out, the website of hemp car that broke world records. Hemp is unlike other biofuels (corn) in that it doesn’t require large amounts of pesticides or fertilizers (petroleum based) and doesn’t require as much land to produce the same level of fuel efficiency. The infrastructure is simply not there for hemp fuels to compete. Check out Hemp Biodiesel: When the Smoke Clears from Biodiesel Magazine for more info on hemp as fuel.

Don’t forget that contacting your government representatives on this matter is a good start on the path to change. Perhaps more important are our efforts at conserving. No matter what fuel we use, we need to use much less of it. When we waste here in the US and other developed countries, we harm the rest of the global populace, the environment, and ourselves.

So, why should vegans care about hemp? Growing hemp for food, fuel, textiles, plastic, and other products improves the lives of animals (including us humans) through less habitat destruction, less pollution, better nutrition, and improved financial well-being through new markets. What’s standing in our way? The illegality of cannabis.

What’s a vegan to do? Lobby your government reps and speak with your dollars (or drachmas, pieces of eight- whatever you got) as well. There are hemp alternatives to many of the things you already buy, and they are legal. When shopping online, include the word “hemp” in your search. Support organizations researching the viability of hemp in industry. Spread the word- hemp for a new (vegan) world.

hemp plastic
Raw roller
bamboo bike
hemp bottle
hemp instruments
hemp chair