The world is certainly facing a number of challenges in these modern times. As the population continues to soar, we are understandably concerned about the impacts that the human race will have on the environment. One of the most profound threats involves the increasing amount of plastic that has entered the ecosystem. In fact, there are even entire islands of plastic that have accumulated over the years. So there is a need for a plastic alternative.
The main issue is that our consumption of this material continues to skyrocket. This is why many companies have been searching for a viable alternative. Interestingly enough, a particular plant product might actually be able to address the concerns mentioned above. Let’s first take a quick look at the dangers of plastic before examining a truly amazing alternative.
What Global Threats Does Plastic Pose?
One of the issues involving plastic is that it takes a very long time to break down into its constituent components. In fact, the average bottle of plastic will require 1,000 years to fully degrade. This is a very real problem for the environment, as plastic will continue to accumulate within natural settings.
Another concern involves the release of substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As the plastic begins to degrade, these harmful chemicals will be released into the nearby environment. VOCs pose a threat to plants, animals, and humans alike.
Still, perhaps the most serious risk posed by plastic is that the associated production processes have already massively contributed to global warming. As the planet heats up at an even more frenetic rate, climates will begin to dramatically change and many species will become extinct. It is therefore clear that finding a solution to plastic should represent a very real priority.
Going Green in a Plastic World
Interestingly enough, several companies have proposed using plant-based plastic alternatives to create common items such as bottles and containers. One substance that has gained a massive amount of popularity in recent times is hemp. What has brought this seemingly humble plant into the limelight?
First and foremost, its flexible uses have been known since as far back as 1941. Even famous innovators such as Henry Ford proposed employing this substance to manufacture entire vehicles. This plant is hearty, widely available, and easily grown.
Furthermore, this plant will help to dramatically offset the production of greenhouse gases mentioned earlier. It offers many of the same physical properties as plastic and perhaps most importantly, it can be recycled and reused with ease. This will save companies a great deal of money from a long-term point of view.
It nonetheless needs to mention that several challenges still remain. The most profound involves convincing the general public that plant-based plastics are viable options. Some industries (particularly within the petrochemical sector) may also be resistant to such a change, as it will inevitably impact their profit margins. This is why it is important to highlight the many advantages of plant-based manufacturing, as it is indeed the wave of the future.