It's in our best interest to reduce our plastic waste, and with this month being Plastic Free July, there couldn't be a better time to start. Plastic poses significant threats to the environment and our wildlife. In addition, plastic is certainly not a long-term solution since it takes hundreds of years to break down.
With that said, it can be difficult to avoid plastic since it is essentially everywhere we look, from when we walk into a grocery store to ordering a takeaway to the streets where we live. However, hemp could present a great opportunity.
Hemp is a plant-based material that acts as an excellent replacement for plastic. A variety of different things can be made from hemp, from bags to clothing, straws, and more. One significant factor that makes hemp such a great alternative to plastic is it is biodegradable.
Let's explore why hemp is a better alternative to plastic and how you can adopt hemp products in your daily life this July!
What Is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July is a global movement started by Rebecca Prine-Ruiz, Founder of the Plastic Free Foundation. It is currently one of the most influential environmental campaigns across the globe. The purpose behind the campaign is to encourage people to reduce their plastic to become part of the solution.
They do this with the hope that one day our beaches, streets, and other public places will be free of plastic waste. In addition, that we will curb our use of plastic to protect wildlife and the planet. They currently have 326 million participants across the globe taking the pledge to be plastic-free this July.
You can sign up here.
What Is Hemp, and Why Is It Better Than Plastic?
Hemp is characterised as a natural plant-based fibre meaning it is derived from the plant's stem. This makes it quite similar to other materials such as bamboo, linen, and flax. The fibre is usually not as flexible as flax but longer and generally greenish, yellowish, grey, or dark brown in colour.
The reason it is usually darker in colour is that it is not very easy to bleach. Given that, people generally don't dye hemp. The material is both very long-lasting and strong.
Hemp has been used to create yarn, cable, string, rope, and twice for various coarse fabrics. In addition, the fibre from hemp is also utilised to develop bioplastics. Depending on how they are formulated, these can be biodegradable and recyclable.
Over the past few years, many businesses have created hemp clothing lines and accessories. In addition, hemp female sanitary products, hemp toiletries, and more. It's not hugely surprising, since it is considered one of the least harmful materials on the environment.
It has many benefits for the environment, and hemp production generally does not engage in environmentally harmful practices. For example, bleaching, dying, water retting, taking hundreds of years to break down, and more.
Therefore, you can rest knowing hemp is kinder to the planet and does not pose dangers to our wildlife. Hemp is a brilliant alternative to plastic; you just have to ensure that the company is not engaging in harmful practices. In other words, hemp can quickly become a harmful material to the planet if harsh chemicals are added.
How to Swap Plastic With Hemp for Plastic Free July
Now that you know why hemp is a more eco-friendly material than plastic, let's explore the plastic products you can swap out for hemp!
Hemp Face Mask
With face coverings being a reality for us nowadays, it seems only fitting to start with an alternative to single-use plastic ones. Over the last few months, many news publications have reported the amount of single-use plastic face coverings littered on beaches and across streets.
Therefore, it is so essential that we find an alternative to these masks. That alternative is reusable hemp masks. Beyond being more environmentally sound, hemp face coverings are more breathable than plastic and kinder to the skin.
Hemp Tote Bag for Shopping
Beyond the single-use face coverings, another single-use plastic product that impacts the environment hugely is plastic bags. They are constantly being littered on beaches and streets. Even if they are not littered, they take hundreds of years to decompose.
Even when they break down, they only become more harmful with the risk of microplastics entering our food system. For this reason, we must find an alternative that does decompose or can be reused. Lots of businesses sell hemp tote bags which you can use for all kinds of shopping.
In addition, you can use it in general for carrying your things. They make for a great alternative since they can be used again and again. Plus, with hemp being a durable and strong fabric, you can rest knowing your bag will last!
Hemp Clothing and Accessories
Hemp clothing and accessories are another great way you can reduce your plastic this July. Over the last few years, the issues with fast fashion have been brought to life. In particular, the most common material used – polyester – is essentially plastic.
Additionally, fast fashion has increased the fashion seasons from 2 to 52. This means people now purchase clothing based on trends and not on what they necessarily need. Unfortunately, this can result in a throwaway culture where a lot of the clothing we buy winds up in landfill where it acts similarly to that of plastic bags and single-use masks.
Fast fashion also engages in other practices that are harmful to the environment, such as dying clothing and water retting, among others. For this reason, you can make a big difference if you opt for hemp clothing and accessories.
You can make a big difference by availing of hemp toiletries. For example, we are instructed to change our standard plastic toothbrush every three to four months. This means we are purchasing and discarding between 3 and 4 toothbrushes each year.
When you think of it that way, it's a lot of plastic, and as we know, it takes years to decompose. Given that, it is crucial to opt for a hemp toothbrush that will break down and not cause further damage when it is out of your life.
In addition, hemp female sanitary products are available. It is hard to calculate how many pads or tampons the average person uses during their monthly cycle. In other words, it is mainly dependent on how many days the cycle is. A tampon is supposed to last for 8 hours, while a pad is usually changed between 3 and 5 times each day.
Either way, this results in a lot of waste staying on the planet for longer than it needs to, causing harm. Luckily, you can find hemp tampons and pads. The material is much kinder to the skin and the environment.
In addition, you can find CBD-infused tampons and pads made from hemp, which are said to help ease discomfort.
Are You Going to Opt For Hemp Products This Plastic Free July?
Plastic pollution is a real problem our world is facing. It poses threats to our planet and all living on it. It is crucial to curb our use of plastic and find alternatives that are kinder to the environment.
Hemp could be the answer to going plastic-free, and it couldn't be better timing to do so with this month being Plastic Free July. There are many hemp products on the market, so you can easily swap out plastic for this plant-based, durable material. So, are you going to take the pledge and give hemp a try?