Hemp Paper

The paper problem is yet another in the endless list of problems that legalizing industrial hemp could completely solve. According to a report by The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 2005 the earths total forest area decreased at about 32,000,000 acres a year. I’m going to give you a minute to imagine the extreme mass that 32,000,000 acres is, that’s about 35,200,000 football fields. As many of you may or may not know hemp is a wonderful way to generate paper, as it can be made into some of the finest paper imaginable. So good in fact that the constitution to the United States of America was written on hemp paper. Only a few countries actually increased their forest cover. A few to mention, Israel increased their cover by 4.9% whereas Ireland increased cover by 3% and The U.S only increased forest cover by a measly .2%

Paper is produced from pushing together moist fibers usually cellulose pulp derived from wood, however other plants such as hemp produce cellulose pulp as well. After the fibers have been pressed sufficiently they are then dried into flexible sheets. What most don’t know is that one acre of hemp can produce nearly 4.1x as much cellulose fiber as one acre of trees would. At this rate ALL of the rainforests could be gone in a hundred years, all so we could consume as much paper as we desired. The real problem here is not the overconsumption of paper but rather the unsustainable methods that are used to create the paper in the first place. If industrial hemp was made legal every day instead of forest cover across the globe decreasing it would reverse and begin to increase! The trees of the globe could take a breath and begin to retake the land that was once theirs.

Not only is hemp used to produce the cellulose in far more efficient methods than wood, it is sustainable. Sustainable is the key word for everyone right now, mainly due to the fact of how extremely unsustainable the human race is across the globe currently. Hemp is a big part of the sustainable revolution, think about it this way; if all paper production was switched to using cellulose instead of wood than 32 million acres of trees a year could be saved. Not only could they be saved but all the hemp used in the process could simply be replanted and harvested again the next year. Whereas with trees after being harvested take decades to grow to full maturity. This paper problem is big, but no problem is too big for a solution, always remember that.

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