16 billion! That’s how many disposable coffee cups the world uses every year! That’s a lot of cups in a landfill. Could hemp cups be the answer?
What if there were a solution to this massive problem? One that was sustainable and good for the environment? And what if it was a meaningful alternative to literally cutting down the trees that filter the air which we breathe?
Well, there is: hemp cups! Now I know what you are thinking, it’s a hippy thing. Well, it isn’t. It is proven science. They are great alternative products that not only save trees but also provide you with the vessel for your daily cup!
Hemp plastic is the way of the future—become part of the solution by supporting a newer, greener plastic resin supply alternative. Hemp is a sustainable, functional, pliable, and durable material. Depending on which part of the plant you use, you can eat it or create material with it for clothing, rope, fibreboard, and yes, hemp cups. We all need to transition to more eco-friendly materials. In 2017, over 300 million tons of plastic was produced by manufacturers worldwide. There is no doubt this is having a serious impact on the health of our planet and changes need to be made to protect future generations. Recent technology has opened the door to a new breed of eco-friendly polymers which offer significant CO2 and other bio-advantages, while using renewable and sustainable resources.
What is hemp and hemp-derived products?
Hemp-derived products are products that come from the Hemp plant, the sister of the cannabis plant. These products may include high levels of CBD, CBG, CBN and other non-psychoactive compounds that contain therapeutic properties. All products are under .3% Delta-9 THC and are federally legal for possession and consumption as stated in the Farm Bill. All Certificates of Analysis showing Delta-9 THC levels and other compounds in each product are available on our Hemp Cup shopping site.
What is hemp plastic made of?
Hemp plastic is a bioplastic made using industrial hemp. There are many different types of hemp plastic; from standard plastics reinforced with hemp fibers, to a 100% hemp plastic made entirely from the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is recyclable and can be manufactured to be 100% biodegradable.
Hemp is the plant that has the potential to help us reinvent the future of plastic and other materials. It is a clean, ecological, sustainable and renewable alternative. And it can replace the use of polluting materials in the production of goods in many fields, such as construction, automobiles, fashion, design, sports, and many others.
Hemp is among the crops that creates more biodiversity in its surroundings. Its cultivation allows us to obtain at low cost three raw materials: the seeds, the fibre and the pulp. Fibre has always been the most used for its excellent qualities, as it is the most resistant, absorbent and durable fibre of vegetable origin.
Why do we need hemp cups?
You only need to look at the sheer amount of coffee humans consume on a daily basis. Not to mention the amount of landfill that is being shipped all around the world. We know we need to change something.
Compared to trees, hemp is a great product. First of all, it can provide four times the usable material per acre in the same span of time when compared to trees.
That’s because these plants can grow very close together, and they have good height. They can grow up to 20 feet, in fact. And it almost happens overnight.
You can harvest hemp three to four times per year. Compare that to the growing time required for an acre of trees, and the question is a no-brainer.
Hemp can also grow in a number of different climates. From harsh and arid climates to wet ones, it’s a versatile crop. That means farmers around the world can grow it and use it to support their communities.
Can hemp be used instead of plastic?
Hemp grows prolifically, making it an extremely efficient crop for these sustainable plastics known as ‘bioplastics’. They are lightweight, biodegradable and can replace many petrochemical plastics (oil-based plastics).
How Could Hemp Get Spread Everywhere?
The secret lies in the embedded seeds in the cup. The cup’s material is made of a compostable material that breaks down when the cup is exposed to water. Even if someone throws the cup on the ground, it could easily begin to sprout with the first rain.
After some research, Henige discovered the perfect alternative to paper. He uses cornstarch-based PLA. What is great about this material is that it serves a double purpose. First, cups made from PLA plastics can withstand very hot temperatures. Second, the cups have a relatively short biodegradation rate. It takes around 180 days to decompose. Plastics and styrofoam, by comparison, can take hundreds of years to break down.
Best of all, it’s easy to plant your used coffee cup. You just have to unravel the cup and let it lie in water for about 5 minutes. After that, take the cup to the desired spot and plant it. In a short time, your plant will start to grow.
Coffee cups contribute more to the mountains of trash than you may realize. These biodegradable coffee cups has loads of merit. Some cups are manufactured from paper that ultimately comes from trees, leading to deforestation and ultimately contributes to climate change.
Cost And The War On Drugs Are Biggest Barrier To Hemp Plastic
While fossil fuel costs are kept low with subsidies, hemp products for the most part remain costly luxury items. The U.S. legalized hemp in 2018, after a few years of research into hemp growing. However, decades of drug prohibition mean we’re still lacking much of the infrastructure needed to grow and process hemp into plastic.
Though hemp requires fewer pesticides and has a smaller environmental footprint than many other crops, growing and harvesting it remains labor intensive. Another drawback is that hemp requires “significant fertiliser in some soils, and also has relatively high water requirements,” as noted by Seshata.
However, hemp prices will undoubtedly come down, and technology improve as hemp growing spreads from coast to coast. Right now, most hemp in the United States is grown for CBD, but more and more farmers are beginning to experiment with other varieties that can be more easily harvested for their fiber content.