A new “Green World” is possible
Hemp could give our planet a future for a more sustainable environment. A cleaner world without waste.
When used as a rotary crop, hemp improves yields of subsequent crops and restores the health of the soil: thanks to its roots can remove heavy metals from soils up to 4 meters deep.
Furthermore, in its life cycle, it reduces an important amount of CO2: one hectare of industrial hemp absorbs up to 15 tons.
At the same time, hemp needs fewer inputs than most other fiber crops (water, pesticides and herbicides are used in low doses) and no hemp goes to waste
Stems, roots, leaves, flowers and seeds can be processed and used for many different products: textiles, paper, ropes, insulation material, fiberboard, bio-plastics, compost, animal bedding, fuel, paints, feed, food, food supplements, cosmetics, medicinal preparations.
A post-coronavirus green recovery
Even though in the 1940s Italy was – with almost 100,000 cultivated hectares – the second-largest producer in the world, behind only the Soviet Union -, hemp’s economic potential still needs to be explored.
Could the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the European and national economic fabric help to set the political debate according to criteria of greater rationality?
Currently, the recreational use of cannabis, as it is known, represents an illegal market, dominated by criminal organizations. Meanwhile, legalization of the sector is estimated to entail tax benefits for the State equal to 6-8.7 billion euros per year (in higher revenues and reduction of expenses for repression mostly)
Due to prejudices and a not clear regulatory framework, the (legal) industrial hemp market isn’t in good health neither.
The best-known principle of the Green Economy is that of the circular economy: the adoption of non-linear models of extraction-production-use-waste able to transform the waste of the production-consumption cycles of goods manufacturing into new productive resources.
Keeping in mind the global warming problem of the planet, the reorientation of the energy sector is the second crucial component for the implementation of the Green Economy.
This implies greater use of clean energy, eco-sustainable fuels and the adoption of conservative cultivation techniques that reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the soil.
Thirdly, the Green Economy is distinguished by the strong emphasis placed on the concept of eco-efficiency both concerning inputs, minimizing energy and raw materials used for the same product, as outputs, minimizing the quantity of waste and emissions for a single product.