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Disposable wipes could be made from hemp

Solution to environmental problems: 100% compostable disposable cleaning wipes

As a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, many people have started to use or have used more disposable wipes. Although very practical, the problem is that the non-woven textiles used for the wipes are generally not particularly environmentally friendly.

Disposable wipes are used for all kinds of applications including hand sanitizing, makeup removal, baby care and general cleaning. They are often made from non-biodegradable synthetic materials, which end up in landfills and aquatic environments. These products are also known to plug sewer lines and then create “fatbergs”. In addition to being totally disgusting, fatbergs are expensive and time consuming to remove.

A fatberg is a mass frozen in a sewer system formed by the combination of rinsed non-biodegradable solids, such as wet wipes

Industrial hemp could be the solution, or part of the solution, for greener disposable wipes. The company that has embarked on this path is the Canadian company Bast Fiber Technologies Inc. (BFTi), which works with natural fibers of plant origin like hemp and flax to create sustainable nonwoven materials.

“Our products are 100% compostable, do not contain microplastics and do not contain toxins. Products made with 100% bast fiber can be composted in the same soil used to grow new bast fiber plants - a true representation of a circular business model ”.

According to the company

Bast fiber is the outer material of the stem of bast plants, including hemp. Part of the function of these fibers is to give plants strength, and in the case of hemp, they can be several meters long. The fibers can be cut to the size that suits the application.

Switching to hemp and other plants as the fiber source for disposable wipes doesn't have to mean an inferior product. BFTi claims that its patented fibers offer better performance characteristics compared to traditional synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers.

Earlier this month, BFTi announced the closing of a C $ 4,5 million equity financing; the investment being led by the Lightburn Group and Natural Products Canada (NPC). The money will allow the company to complete test work with its customers, file additional intellectual property rights and complete construction of a bast fiber processing facility.

“Most of the hemp grown in Canada today is used for CBD production or as a seed crop for food,” said Shelley King, CEO of NPC. “BFTi will play an important role in creating a long term demand for hemp straw and in realizing the vision of a whole plant use of hemp”.

This is one of the other amazing attributes of hemp, almost every part of the plant can be used and what cannot be returned to the soil to support the growth of more hemp.

Tags : biotechnologyHempEnvironment