Single-use plastics and papers are polluting our environment, contributing to mass deforestation and increasing our carbon footprint. It is imperitive that we tackle this issue with a sense of urgency. Thankfully, our farmers have a great opportunity to help tackle this issue while also giving them another crop option.
Hemp is a plant belonging to the family of cannabis. Unlike cannabis itself, hemp contains virtually none of the psychoactive ingredient THC. However, due to its similar appearance with cannabis, hemp was placed on federal lockdown. Until recently, hemp could not be grown in virtually any capacity. While improvements have been made, it is time that we aggressively enable the production of hemp in the United States. Rather than limited pilot programs, Congress should be doing everything possible to incentivize the growth and mass production of hemp. Hemp can be used to create single use plastic and paper products, clothing fibers and even building materials. Compared to standard materials such as petroleum based plastics, hemp breaks down at a much faster rate with a fraction of the carbon footprint.
Such a policy would not only protect the environment, it would be a potential boost for our farmers at a time when that is needed.