by David Cannafacts on 02/11/2012 | Cannabis News

“Hemp is the most sustainable raw material in the world”

“To prevent any misunderstandings: HempFlax does not grow hemp for smoking,” explains director Mark Reinders. “You don’t get high from our hemp.”


“To prevent any misunderstandings: HempFlax does not grow hemp for smoking,” explains director Mark Reinders. “You don’t get high from our hemp.”

Although hemp was already used three thousand years ago in China in products like rope and clothing, growing the plant was banned after the Second World War. This was partly due to the lobbying of the French manufacturer of synthetic materials, DuPont. Growing hemp is still prohibited in the United States, but the ban was lifted in Europe in the early 1990s. “Thankfully,” says Reinders, “Hemp is the most sustainable raw material in the world. It does not need pesticides when you grow it as hemp grows faster than weeds. The yield per hectare is incredible, too. From each hectare of hemp, we harvest 2000 kilos of fibre, compared to roughly 400 kilos of cotton.”
The possibilities of hemp are limitless. For example, HempFlax’s hemp is worked into door panels for Mercedes, Bentley, Bugatti and BMW. Reinders: “Door panels generally consist of a plastic with a fibre; Hemp is thirty times lighter than glass fibre, which reduces the fuel costs of cars. A tenth of the energy is needed to produce hemp, too.” So hemp must be cheaper than other fibres? Reinders hesitates. “If the price of oil stays above 100 dollars a barrel, we can compete. In fact, we are not too expensive: glass fibre is much too cheap. That’s because the manufacturers don’t pay for the environmental damage and the CO2 emissions they produce.”

Sustainable uses

HempFlax, based in an old strawboard factory with a floor area of 70,000 square metres in Oude Pekela, Netherlands, also makes high-quality stable and cage litter out of hemp. One of its customers is the Royal Stables of Denmark. Hemp litter is also processed into concrete to create insulated concrete. The CO2 performance of this technology is impressive. Reinders: “In comparison with a normal concrete wall with a cavity for insulation, concrete insulated with hemp gives a CO2 reduction of 150 kilos per square metre. The material is soon to be used in building a sustainable day nursery near Nijmegen.” Reinders’ vision is clear. “We have to stop looting the planet, but no one wants to go back to medieval times. That’s why we have to start developing high-quality sustainable materials. Hemp is one such material. We intend to set up a Fibre Valley around our factory; a high-tech hemp campus where other companies can develop innovative products from hemp.”

 

Read more about HempFlax

Source

Comment Section

Got an opinion? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Leave a Comment

Please enter a name
Oops, looks like you forgot something?