It sounds like a perfect opportunity for collaboration with some hot topics in business, combining a booming business for legal marijuana packaging, recently legalized hemp farming in the U.S. and sustainability, but a leading supplier of recycled plastic containers for cannabis says to not believe hype about hemp-based plastics.
Wheat Ridge, Colo.-based Sana Packaging is warning its customers that most products made with hemp are actually a composite combining traditional resins and hemp-based reinforcement.
"These materials cannot be recycled and do not have any tangible sustainability benefits, so marketing petroleum-based hemp plastic products as 'sustainable' can be considered greenwashing," Sana Supply Chain Director Galen Kuney writes in a recent blog post.
Sana, which sources some of its recycled material from ocean-bound waste, does use hemp in some of its packaging but combines it with polylactic acid to ensure all material is bio-based. It is also tracking developments in using hemp — which has only been legal to grow in the U.S. since 2018 — as a base material for plant-based plastics.
"It is also important to emphasize that there will likely never be a 'silver bullet' when it comes to solving our plastic and packaging waste problems," Kuney writes. "The solution to these problems is a large-scale systemic change."