Hemp vs. Trees

Industrial agriculture to produce commodities such as fabric, palm oil and paper, is the biggest threat facing our trees today. It is estimated that 7 million hectares (3.5 – 7 billion trees) are destroyed annually [1]. Around 270,000 trees are flushed, or dumped in landfills every single day, with 10% of this being attributed to toilet paper alone [2].

Hemp would provide a much more sustainable alternative to paper, card and toilet paper. It takes 3-5 months to grow, compared to 20 to 80 years for trees; provides 4 times the pulp per acre; it is one of the strongest natural fibres around; and finally, it doesn’t negate the use of toxic and harmful chemicals in processing. [3]

In 1916 agricultural scientists in America found that paper can be made from hemp. They realised that it was more environmentally friendly and sustainable, just like the Chinese and Egyptians did centuries before them. Yet still, hemp production never accelerated in the 20th century.

In the 1930’s, William Hearst, owner of Hearst Communications, one of the largest newspaper and media companies, invested in hectares of woodland in order to supply paper for the media he was vested into. Hearst formed allegiance with DuPont, a petrochemical organisation that facilitated the chemical processes necessary to create paper from wood using sulfur.

Hearst then proceeded to embark on a defame campaign against hemp via his publications. With wide range access to the minds of the general public, he successfully convinced Americans that Hemp was dangerous and harmful. Meanwhile, his newly formed allies at DuPont pressurised Congress to pass bills that sanctioned those that sold, acquired or possessed marijuana. The close relations of hemp and cannabis meant that it was guilty by association, and hemp was successfully suppressed as an alternative to its more profitable and lucrative opponent, trees.

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