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Hemp As A Resource

Written in World Issues: 08/12/07, 18:03:39 by admin  | Print article  | View all categories.
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Decriminalising the growing of non-narcotic forms of hemp could replace the need to grow and clearfell softwood trees for the pulp paper industry and for fibre board. It also requires less chemical treatment.

Hemp can be harvested annually in comparison to decades for softwoods. The importance of this that growing monoculture softwood plantations is a great threat to tropical forests and other endangered wildlife habitats. Hemp can also replace the need to use hydrocarbons from the petrochemical industry (a threat to many ecosystems, not least marine habitats) to produce plastics.

The first all-plasic-bodied car was produced by Ford in the 1930s with raw materials derived from hemp fibre. In fact, there is an opinion that Du Pont, who invented nylon amongst other petrochemical plastics, played a significant part in helping the criminalisation of the growing of hemp just as new technology for harvesting it was threatening to increase its economic viability and as techniques for deriving plastic from it were being developed.

The US Government introduced a moratorium on the new anti-hemp legislation during World War II so that vital products could be produced in the required numbers for the military as the nascent petrochemical plastics industry could not meet the demand.