While hemp is certainly a cash crop on the rise due to CBD and other health related products, another market for hemp is opening up in the bioplastic industry. Single use plastic products such as take out containers, straws, water bottles, etc., can be made from the cellulose in hemp plants.
A huge benefit of this process is these hemp plastic products are biodegradable. A plastic bag may take hundreds of years to degrade. While hemp plastic can degrade in just three to six months.
Bioplastics, meaning any plastic that is plant based, biodegradable, or both, replaces fossil-based carbon in plastic with carbon from renewable sources such as corn or hemp. Tubbs, now manufacturing about a million pounds of hemp-based bioplastic a week, is confident that hemp bioplastic will overtake petroleum-based raw polymer in coming decades. Thanks to a confluence of consumer demand for more sustainable goods, corporate initiatives and falling manufacturing costs, production of bioplastics is poised to take off. By 2020, bioplastics are predicted to control 5 percent of the plastics market, rising to 40 percent by 2030, according to Grand View Research.