Tag Archives: hemp products

Hemp to Create Renewable Weed Packaging

Finally! Manufacturers Are Now Using Hemp to Create Renewable Weed Packaging

Hemp-based plastics are being used in 3D printing or injection molding processes to create toothbrushes, sustainable cannabis packaging, and more.

Most of the hype surrounding the recent legalization of industrial hemp has focused on CBD, but manufacturers have been brainstorming dozens of other innovative uses for this versatile plant.

Several new companies are turning to hemp to create renewable bioplastics that can serve as an alternative to traditional, oil-based plastics. As the amount of plastic waste in oceans and landfills reaches epic proportions, researchers are working to create plastic alternatives from renewable sources like straw, wood, food waste, or hemp.

Denver-based Sana Packaging is one company that is using both hemp-derived plastic, as well as recycled ocean plastic, to create sustainable packaging for the cannabis industry. Retail regulations in Canada and US adult-use states often impose extreme packaging requirements on legal weed products, which have resulted in an excessive amount of single-use plastic pot packaging.

“Because of the ability to [easily] produce plastics, we got ourselves into single-use disposable culture, and that has caused a dysfunctional system,” said Sana CEO Ron Basak-Smith to United Press International (UPI). Sana now uses plastics with hemp fillers to create sustainable injection-molded packaging for around 200 legal weed companies.

Chad Ulven, associate professor of mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University, has been exploring how to create bioplastics with polylactic acid, a resin created from corn, coffee or beer waste, flax, cotton, seeds, or charred carbon. Now, Ulven and his Fargo-based company c2Renew are looking at using hemp-based plastics for injection molding and 3D printing.

“There’s a craze around being able to grow hemp finally in the United States and 3D print and play with the material,” said Ulven to UPI. “I’m not saying it’s a save-the-world type of moment… But the more options we have for controlling our discarded waste, the more options we create for sustainability.”

Another Fargo-based company, 3D-Fuel, has also recently started using hemp-based filament. This filament, when melted and layered by a 3D printer, can create plastic surfaces which can be utilized when making frames for glasses, product sales stands, or home décor items like lampshades or vases. “We see a lot of people who use it for specialty parts, especially in the cannabis industry,” said 3D-Fuel CEO John Schneider.

Minnesota-based Bogobrush has focused its efforts to reduce plastic waste in the dental industry by creating hemp-derived toothbrushes (which just might be the perfect pair for cannabis toothpaste). After an initial attempt to create bamboo toothbrushes proved unsuccessful, the company began creating biodegradable and recyclable toothbrushes made from plant-based plastics, including hemp.

“Plastics have done a lot of great things in the world, like being used in airplanes or medical devices,” said Heather McDougall of Bogobrush to UPI. “But we want to be investing in plant-based plastics that can serve us into the future.”

Source – MerryJane

Zeoform: Bye bye plastic?

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What if plastic could be made without using fossil fuels and toxic chemicals? An Australian company has done just that, with a new type of plastic that can turn hemp fiber into pretty much anything.

Zeoform is a promising eco-friendly solution to traditional plastics. It’s made from a simple mixture of plant fiber (specifically cellulose) and water. What’s more, unlike plastic, Zeoform is compostable.

Hemp, along with flax and straw, are ideal for making Zeoform because of their high cellulose content. But it can be made from recycled paper and textiles too.

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Zeoform CEO Alf Wheeler says the product is highly durable, relying on the natural process of hydrogen bonding that occurs when cellulose fibers are exposed to water. The bond that is created is so strong that no glue is required.

The final material can be sprayed or molded into almost any shape, ranging from furniture and automobile parts to jewelry and musical instruments.

The company currently operates out of a small factory in Australia. But with such versatile applications, Wheeler says the hope is to license the patented technology to larger manufacturers.

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Not only is Zeoform a greener alternative to plastic, but Wheeler sees the potential for replacing natural materials like wood as well.

“There’s a lot of paper-making towns with lots of unemployed people,” Wheeler explained to Fast Company.

“They already have the infrastructure in place to make this material. All they need is some intellectual property and a relatively cheap retrofit to their mill, and they can put people back to work.”