Hemp Knowledge Expert
Conventional paper, which comes from tree pulp, is the most common type of paper. Sure, it may seem like it is perfect for writing, printing, etc. But did you know that there is a better alternative to it? In case you don't, it is hemp paper. One of the best things about hemp paper is the fact that hemp is far more renewable.
You may find it surprising that the manufacturing of the world's first paper involved the use of hemp partially. Hemp is significantly more suitable for making paper due to its low lignin content and high levels of cellulose. It is also remarkably more sustainable and eco-friendly than conventional paper made from tree pulp. Producing hemp paper takes lesser time in comparison to paper made from tree pulp. Despite so many advantages on the hemp paper's side, replacing it with tree-based papers is impossible to achieve overnight.
The production of hemp paper involves short bast fiber (hurd or pulp) and long bast fibers of the hemp plant. Upon using, you will notice that hemp paper is far brittle and tough in comparison to conventional paper. But since, making pulp paper is easier, it is abundantly available everywhere.
Hemp hurd has a chemical composition that shares a few similarities with the chemical composition of tree wood. It makes hemp an excellent raw material option to manufacture paper.
People have been using hemp far before using it as a paper. It was a renowned source of making rope, fabric, foods, and tons of other products. But as far as hemp papers go, China was the first country to use hemp as paper. The inventors created by breaking down the hemp fabric in thin sheets, and adding some agricultural waste in it.
A far as Hemp paper’s history in the U.S goes, it dates as far back as the 1800s. It was quite common during this time. However, as time passed by, numerous textile companies its popularity began to decline during the early years of the 1900s because various newspapers and textile companies leveraged their lobbying powers to stop hemp trading and production.
Deforestation and paper waste are becoming a serious problem with each passing day. This major problem needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Fortunately, using hemp to make paper could be one of the solutions for this as it is renewable and prevent the cutting down of trees for making paper. Of course, this will not occur overnight, but creating an infrastructure that promotes the hemp paper production could be a step in the right direction.
Hemp paper's future seems to be promising as there are a few companies like Hemp Press and Tree-Free Hemp that are using the waste that comes from hemp products and converting them to paper. Although these are just experiments for now, if more companies try their hand at making Hemp Paper, the environment would greatly benefit from it.