Hemp plant planned for pallet production


The plant in question is a pallet manufacturing facility using the recently legalised material

Hemp plant planned for pallet production
Biofiba chairman Laurence Dummett

 

An Australian company is looking to start manufacturing shipping pallets using hemp from early next year, after a change to federal laws made it a possibility last year.

Biofiba, which surfaced a decade ago, is planning to build a manufacturing facility in the New South Wales Central Coast town of Somersby, using a patented technology to build extruded planks using resins and fibre developed from the inner core of the hemp plant.

The planks can be used to make shipping pallets which the company says is a cost effective and alternative to timber and a biodegradable replacement for plastics.

The Somersby plant would be its first Australian base after Biofiba first started manufacturing the planks in China in 2017, after receiving development funding from the CSIRO in 2011 and in 2009.

Biofiba chairman Laurence Dummett says the technology will replace current raw material inputs with alternatives that are sustainable, renewable and cost effective.

"We’re looking forward to adding considerable value to investment, and the positive impacts our product will make to the environment in stopping deforestation and reducing plastic waste," he says.

The company will be permitted to grow its industrial hemp following changes to Australian legislation in late 2017 – permitting Biofiba to use hemp for biocomposite products and other commodities such as hemp seed and oil.

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