There has been a lot of media attention recently.. about all the ‘mountains’ of discarded plastic, here in Aotearoa/NZ & around the world. Regardless of all the attempts to recycle the majority, it seems much of it is either, ending up in landfills or adding to the ‘floating islands’ in the world’s oceans. Until recently much of it was being shipped to China, but they have now refused to take it.. they are becoming inundated with it too.
There was a new report that, a new location/destination is Malaysia. BUT they too are struggling to deal with it. There was a story that much of it is now being burned; massively adding to air pollution.. a driver of climate change !
The biggest issue with most modern plastics.. they are made from non-biodegradable ‘fossil fuel’ oil. I hear that it can take several centuries to totally breakdown. The main reason that many countries seem to give, for using this option; its much cheaper to manufacture.
BUT; for those who have either read Mr Jack Herer’s book (The Emperor wears no clothes) or perhaps heard the story.. then you likely know the alternative view: A group of greedy, self-interested individuals conspired to make ‘Industrial HEMP’ illegal, under the guise of outlawing an ‘Evil insidious Narcotic’ that most had never heard of in 1930-40s.. (from Mexico) called.. ‘MARIJUANA’. Turns out it was/is the same plant genus (Cannabis) as Hemp.
Cannabis/Hemp can be used for 1000s of industrial, medicinal & other purposes. The stem contains a large percentage of cellulose, that can be also used to make: Biodegradable plastics !
There are several old news items, about Henry Ford’s ‘Plastic car’ (made from Hemp) that ran on biofuel also derived from the plant. There have been a few recent stories of people doing likewise.. even plans to build an aeroplane from it
BUT cutting through all the ‘conspiracy theories’ etc. The one truth is that, this could still be the way to change course on our ‘reliance’ on plastics, derived from fossil fuel oil. As ‘HempJack’ once stated ‘HEMP CAN SAVE THE WORLD !’
Unfortunately, the companies & other groups, that conspired to get rid of Hemp, still exist today & still obviously have great political influence. Whilst medicinal & personal use of cannabis, is becoming more available; Industrial Hemp is still very rare. It is this fact that leads many to point to it, as the REAL reason the plant was originally vilified & outlawed in the early 20th century.
Shout it from the rooftops.. “WE need MORE Hemp & less fossil fuel oil… HEMP Can Save the World !!”