Henry Ford’s Hemp Plastic Car (1941)
Program length – 0:33
Oxford English Dictionary Definitions
hemp 1) (in full Indian hemp) Asian herbaceous plant. 2) its fibre used to make rope and stout fabrics.
plastic – capable of being moulded; pliant, supple. The word plastic comes from the Greek “plastikos,” meaning “moldable.”
Conventional plastic is not biodegradable. This means that our landfills will grow and grow. Plastic materials are based on a finite resource that will not be available to future generations. Plastic has many uses, from packaging of food and industrial products, to insides of cars, casings of electronic items, film, storage bottles, containers and within a myriad of other industries
Bio-Based Plastics and Composites can be, and are used already to a great extent by industry, especially by the automotive, packaging and building industries. Estimates give a figure of about 500,000 tonnes a year and a two digit growth in the European Union.
Hemp Plastics can be five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene, it will not cause wear and tear to the screw and the mould like glass fibres do, and unlike glass fibres, it does not pose safety and health risks. Its recoverable component comes from these natural plants and can occupy over half of its weight, up to 80 percent. All these features make it suitable for the production of durable products.
Hemp history is well documented. Hemp has been used for thousands of years for food, clothing, fuel and paper. Hemp is the non-drug form of cannabis. This industrial hemp is becoming known as the crop of the future. We are making it the crop of the present. In 1997 a company, a university, professors and other industry developed a 25% Hemp plastic product called ‘high fly’. This product was developed using unique expertise and resourceful corporations. Today, various grades of hemp plastics are available.