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The Hemp Bottle is a more durable, 100% safe, and completely biodegradable alternative to harmful conventional plastic bottles.
156 backers pledged $17,050 to help bring this project to life.

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Hemp Plastic for the Masses

Posted by JD Leadam (Creator)

I apologize for not posting an update in a while. I’ve been very busy, but I have some exciting new details to unveil.

Back in November when I was at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance I met several individuals who, like myself, constantly receive inquiries from people and companies who are trying to find a source for hemp plastic pellets. Unfortunately, there is no magic supply of hemp plastic out there, there’s just no one producing it. I had a feeling there was a strong demand for this material, but my suspicions were confirmed during the final day of the convention where I found myself at a meeting with some of the top players in the Canadian hemp food industry. After discussing the issue of hemp plastic for some time, it was agreed that if I could produce the raw material, that these companies would be very interested in using it in their product packaging. The interest was so strong, that I actually left the table that night with a few substantial purchase orders for the material.

Since this development, I’ve been in talks with several fiber-based plastic facilities in an attempt to work out an agreement to produce this material. However, I’ve experienced several issues in working with these facilities. Everything from vastly over-blown prices, to production capacity and sourcing issues. This led me to consider the possibility that the only practical way to produce large quantities of this material at an acceptable price, may be to control the sourcing, processing, and manufacturing aspects.

In an effort to test this concept quickly and efficiently, I’ve teamed up with Joe Greene, a professor of sustainable manufacturing and mechanical engineering at Chico State University. Joe has been teaching at Chico State for over 15 years, and has been working with bioplastics since before I was born. Additionally, Chico State University is home to the most comprehensive plastics compounding lab at a University West of the Mississippi. Together we are working to develop and test a proprietary blend of hemp plastic material that has the ability to be scaled to large production capacity. Because we’re essentially starting from the ground up, we estimate that this research and development process will take some time. But with my knowledge and Joe’s experience, we are confident we can create something truly amazing.

If I can confirm that this approach to the market is feasible, the possibilities are endless. The more readily available hemp plastic is, the more products we will see being made from it, and subsequently, less petroleum-based plastic in our landfills. By being able to provide hemp plastic to anyone with an idea for a product, my impact on the industry won’t just be limited to the products I can produce and market myself. By being the supplier, there is the opportunity to promote the use of fiber-based plastics across every industry, and to build much needed respect for the industrial hemp plant as a raw material.

More information to come as things continue to develop.

Video of My CHTA Speech

Posted by JD Leadam (Creator)
1 like

I'm not sure that Kickstarter will let me post this video because of it's size, but if you'd like to see the speech I gave at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention, head over to my Facebook page at:

Hope you like it!

Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance Convention

Posted by JD Leadam (Creator)

I am now back in San Jose after attending the CHTA convention last week. The convention was more than I could have ever hoped for. My speech was very well received and I was able to make numerous valuable contacts across the industry. It was amazing meeting so many individuals with the same interests and passion as me. Everyone I met commended me for my speech and my dedication to brining hemp plastic to consumer markets. A few people informed me that I was the "talk of the convention," which was incredibly humbling seeing as I was speaking right alongside established multimillion dollar hemp businesses. I was able to learn more about hemp and it's various applications in the three days of the convention than I could have learned in months of doing my own research. This truly was an invaluable experience and I thank the CHTA for the opportunity to be a part of it.

I left Canada with high hopes regarding the future of hemp plastic. In speaking with several individuals, I was able to formulate an interesting strategy for moving forward with hemp plastic. I don't want to get into it too much until I have more solid facts to present, but I am very excited as to what I may be able to accomplish with the help of some like-minded friends in the industry. When passion and resources meet, tremendous things can happen.

I am working on getting a copy of the video of my speech from the CHTA to share with all of you. If I'm not able to obtain a copy in the coming week, I'll upload one of my practice videos to give you all an idea of what I spoke about.

"There has never been a better time than right now to begin changing the world."

Good News and Bad News (kinda)

Posted by JD Leadam (Creator)

The Good News. 

The original Hemptainer is now on display at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands! A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative from TU Delft who was interested in displaying my product in their Innovative Materials Library. The Innovative Materials Library showcases products made from new innovative/green materials and displays them for a minimum of one year. The library is frequented by students who are looking for the newest and best materials to use in their projects, and later on in their careers. 

 Additionally, I finally received and assembled my Filastruder! This is a device that turns ordinary plastic pellets into filament that can be used in 3D printers. Personal 3D printers are exploding in popularity, but have very few material options that can be used in them. Currently, most personal 3D printers can only work ABS or PLA plastic. What's interesting is that the hemp plastic I work with has almost the same melting point as these two plastics, supporting the idea that it can work in these machines. Being able to offer a "green" option to 3D printing enthusiasts all over the world is very exciting to me and I will continue to update you all with the progress I make.

The Filastruder!
The Filastruder!

The Bad News (kinda).

If you've been following my progress then you know I've been working with a mold maker at my local TechShop to create a mold for this product. I was then planning on using that mold in the TechShop's injection molding machine to hand press the entire initial production run. However, after much trial and error, my mold maker was not able to create a working mold for the jar's lid using the technology available to him. While this was quite disappointing, I learned a lot from this experience and I have since come to view it as a blessing in disguise. The whole reason I was attempting to do this at the TechShop (rather than handing it over to a manufacturing facility) was to save money. My main concern was the cost of mold creation, which for my product would be anywhere from $5,000-15,000 at a professional facility. But after speaking with some of my advisors I realized, why do I even need a mold made in the first place? Why "reinvent the wheel" when standard stock jars are being produced everywhere?

So, I've decided to search for manufacturing facilities that are currently producing injection molded jars, and present them with the idea of using my material instead of the standard plastic they are currently using. Ideally, I'm looking for a facility that produces jars of various sizes and shapes so that I can offer a range of options to potential customers. While this will be more costly than the TechShop route, it will pay off in other areas such as a larger product offering, professional quality control, and logistics support. Furthermore, I know that there is demand for a product such as this and I'd like to get it to the consumer as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In Other News. 

I will be traveling to Saskatoon, Canada in a few weeks to speak at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention. I am extremely excited about this opportunity and can't wait to share my story and to network with others in the industry.

Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance

Posted by JD Leadam (Creator)

I'm excited to announce that I've been invited to speak at this year's Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention! The convention will take place from November 24th through the 27th in Saskatoon, Canada and will be attended by many big names in the industry. The topic I will be speaking about is, "Hemp Plastic for the Everyday Consumer". I am ecstatic for the opportunity to share what I'm currently working on, and where I see hemp plastic going in the future. I think this will be a fantastic chance to form valuable relationships with others in the industry, as well as to gain more exposure for my product. Below is the bio I submitted for inclusion in the pamphlet that will be handed out at the convention. Wish me luck! 

 "At age 23 I am currently studying Business with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship at San Jose State University located in the heart of Silicon Valley. I was born to be an entrepreneur. From selling my brown bag lunch everyday in elementary school to buy a video game console, to running a professional grade recording studio out of my basement during high school. After high school I became extremely interested in the hemp plant and it's many incredible uses. Being a big proponent of the environment, I was particularly interested in hemp plastic as a possible alternative to current petroleum based plastics. In 2011 I entered the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge with the idea to create a hemp-plastic reusable water bottle to help rid the world of one-time-use plastic water bottles. This idea won three 1st place prizes and received tremendous interest from the community. 

 After the Innovation Challenge, I uncovered some issues that made production of a water bottle using hemp plastic impractical at present. After debating for some time on wether or not to abandon the idea, I realized that it wasn't necessarily the product that the world needed to see, it was the material. I am now working on a line of 100% natural, completely biodegradable hemp plastic jars called Hemptainers. My mission is to get hemp plastic products into the hands of ordinary consumers, and to open the world's eyes to the alternatives to harmful petroleum based plastics."

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