The Use of Hemp in Reprocessed Paper Manufacture

As recycling paper becomes more common throughout the world, new uses for the reprocessed product are increasing. Paper bags and cardboard boxes, the pages of the latest best-selling paperback, disposable cups, paper towels and toilet paper all use recycled paper with varied effectiveness. The paper bags tear easier than those made of virgin paper. The paperbacks begin to crumble in a few short years, the paper towels break down quickly into mush and the paper cups leak before the coffee has even had a chance to cool. It is the nature of recycled paper. In the recycling process the waste paper is broken down and reformed. A result of the process is that the new paper has shorter fibres and is more brittle, with less tensile strength than the original paper.

Finding ways of adding strength to the recycled product, thereby making it a more usable and reliable material, has given rise to a whole research industry. Scientists are exploring changes to the recycling processes hoping to do less damage to the fibers. Additives to the paper are being tried at different stages of manufacturing with mixed results. The adding of non-recyclable materials to the papers does make them stronger, but defeats the purpose.

Finding suitable materials that meet the structural, recyclable and cost effective requirements are driving more and more researches to marijuana. No, not to smoke but for the fibres found in the marijuana plants. Marijuana, or Hemp (Cannabis sativa), fibres are proving to be one of the most promising recyclable additives. Papers with hemp fibres added in the pulp stage are proving to be stronger and more durable than those made of recycled paper alone. Hemp is the solution for the paper industry, certainly to the structure problems of recycled papers._

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