In North Carolina, a hemp company is investing in the supply chain for bioplastics. Three years ago, Las Vegas-based Hemp Inc., a publicly traded hemp company, converted a former Spring Hope, N.C., sweet potato-processing plant to an 85,000-square-foot industrial hemp processing lab, said Bruce Perlowin, CEO and founder of the company.
The firm is milling a powdery bioplastic stock from hemp and kenaf — another natural-fiber plant. For now, the company imports from Europe hemp hurd, a byproduct of hemp processing, and grinds it with kenaf.
“I’m in heaven that we’re part of the supply chain to make bioplastic,” Perlowin said. “I’ve been an environmentalist and eco-commando since I was in high school.”