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The carbon footprint of reinforced plastic composites with hemp additives can be reduced by as much as 44% compared with virgin plastic.

February 1, 2022

1 Min Read
hemp field
Image courtesy of Mex Chriss/Alamy

Heartland Industries and Ravago Americas have joined forces to develop thermoplastics modified with hemp fiber, potentially replacing mineral fillers.

Ravago is one of the world's largest plastic recyclers, compounders, and distributors. The company and its subsidiaries service over 50,000 customers globally across 325 facilities in 55 countries. Annually, it supplies more than 6.6 million tonnes of polymer and rubber. For its part, Detroit-based Heartland is building America's first reliable industrial hemp supply chain to provide additives for manufacturers that use plastics.

By leveraging carbon-negative and renewable plastic additives like industrial hemp, Ravago can offer composite products that are stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more sustainable. Not only will these plastics have enhanced thermal and acoustic properties, but Heartland's hemp additives help prolong the life of Ravago's materials that use recycled content.

Heartland's engineered hemp additives reduce the carbon footprint of virgin plastics by as much as 44%. Heartland is also focused on verifying the impact of hemp-filled recycled plastics versus traditional virgin plastics that are typically compounded with mineral fillers like talc and calcium carbonate.

Heartland has worked alongside Ravago to formulate its hemp materials as renewable additives for plastics. Ravago's R&D team has guided Heartland in engineering products that do not require additional retooling costs for plastic compounders and molders.

After the 2022 farming cycle, Heartland estimates that it will be able to process over 100,000,000 pounds of hemp additives for plastics compounding. Ravago and Heartland will continue to research and develop products to serve the automotive, packaging, building and construction, and other markets.

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