Heartland Replaces Talc & Calcium Carbonate in Plastic with Hemp-Based Additives
If you take a look around, you’ll see that plastics make up much of the world around you. However, very little of what you see is pure plastic. That’s because most plastics include a combination of additives that provide the proper characteristics for the plastics we use. Some are there to increase strength, raise the resistance to impact, add color or texture, increase volume, or simply reduce the cost. Most times it’s a combination of properties needed, so various additives are compounded into the final formulations. These additives include colors, plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, and reinforcements.
When it comes to fillers, plastics companies are validating a few things:
- Price per pound
- Volume per pound
- Continuity in end format
Fillers can be easily replaced if certain thresholds are met, and the most common fillers in today’s plastics market are talc and calcium carbonate. These fillers were designed to reduce the cost and add volume to plastic without changing much of the physical properties.
People became so focused on the downside of using petroleum-based plastics, that they overlook the effects of the toxic fillers being put into those plastics. Talc and Calcium Carbonate has become the industry standard over decades. Unfortunately, these materials have negative impacts across the value chain.
- Talc – one of the ingredients typically found in talc is asbestos, a known carcinogenic.
- Calcium Carbonate – one of the ingredients typically found in calcium carbonate is crystalline silica, a known carcinogenic.
These materials have problems at every step of the way:
- How they’re mined.
- How they’re processed.
- How they’re used in manufacturing.
- How they’re consumed by customers.
- How they’re disposed of after use.
Over time, more and more exposure to these materials will have an adverse effect on all humans. These types of materials are toxic to humans; this is known throughout governments and industries.
Manufacturers are actively looking for safer alternatives to talc and calcium carbonate. Everyone is looking for superior filling capabilities while eliminating the downsides of dangerous chemicals. But, until today, that has not been possible.
Heartland Industries is using the fibers and the inner core (hurd) of the industrial hemp plant to replace these fillers.
The fiber and the hurd are made up of mostly cellulose, the world’s most abundant organic polymer. It is extremely lightweight and low-cost to produce at scale. In its final form, our processed industrial hemp (known as Imperium) is a similar micronized material that weighs significantly less than talc and calcium carbonate.
Industrial hemp is a carbon-negative material and can instantly reduce weight and cost for any manufacturer using plastics. Heartland’s version of Imperium is actually proven to sequester more carbon than its final weight (by a ratio of 2.85:1), through our LCA that was performed to ISO 14040 standards. This shift in fillers can be leveraged as a marketing tool to both customers and investors interested in ESG-friendly businesses and investments.
Heartland intends to create the first U.S. supply chain of hemp-based additives for U.S. manufacturers, and this will allow us to help our clients create products that are stronger, lighter, cheaper, and far more sustainable than the competition.
Join us in creating a carbon negative future!