Hemp toilet paper is on the way to save the day!
A Canadian company that makes hemp and flax paper products has just purchased one of Georgia-Pacific’s paper plant in North Carolina.
Bast Fibre Tech, which makes baby wipes, cleaning wipes and facial cloths out of hemp, flax, jute and kenaf bast, entered into a licensing agreement with Georgia-Pacific two years ago to reformulate and patent many of Georgia-Pacific’s iconic paper products using their bast fibers instead of tree pulp.
Now, it appears the manufacturing of those products is about to begin.
Georgia-Pacific owns brands such as Quilted Northern toilet paper, Angel Soft toilet paper and tissues, Brawny and Sparkle paper towels, Vanity Fair napkins and Dixie Cups.
While it’s not clear exactly which products they have reformulated and patented or what their new brand names will be, toilet paper, tissues, baby wipes and cleaning wipes have been mentioned.
“COVID has dramatically increased the number of disposable cleaning wipes people are using,” Bast Fibre Tech’s CEO told Hemp Industry Daily. “Now everyone is saying that this demand change will be permanent … and today the vast majority of them are synthetic. That is really the opportunity for hemp fiber to come in and be a more natural, better-performing fiber that is fully compliant with all of the environmental legislation that’s being introduced.”
“This acquisition will play an integral role in supporting North America’s transition away from plastic and manufactured cellulosic fibres and toward a more sustainable future,” BFT’s president said.
Not only will hemp help stop the plastic pollution created by baby wipes and cleaning wipes, it will help save tons of trees, as the Natural Resources Defense Council warns we are literally “flushing away the Canadian boreal forest.”
One acre of hemp produces as much paper as 4 acres of trees over a 20-year period, according to a very old USDA study.
Additionally, the hemp paper-making process requires no dioxin-producing chlorine bleach and uses 75% to 85% less sulfur-based acid, which means that hemp toilet paper and wipes would contain far fewer harmful chemicals.
And last, but not least, the bast family of plants are some of nature’s most efficient carbon sequesters, according to BFT. Bast plants are deep-rooted annual crops that grow with minimal inputs in almost any climate. As annual crops, they sequester carbon year in, year out, whereas once a forest has been logged, it takes years before it can efficiently sequester carbon again.
BFT plans to retain 25 current Georgia-Pacific employees at its new plant in Lumberton, North Carolina. The company also recently acquired the German-based fiber processing company FVT.