Ohio Hemp Company Inks Deal to Supply Fiber for Bioplastic Production

In a move that highlights the versatility of hemp, an Ohio-based company has signed a deal to supply hemp fiber to a Michigan processor for the production of bioplastics. Ohio Hemp Company, based in Dayton, will provide the raw material to Heartland Industries, which will use it to manufacture bioplastic auto parts for a Belgian firm.

The deal marks a significant development in Ohio’s growing hemp industry, which was legalized in 2019. Ohio Hemp Company’s owners, TJ Richardson and Justin Helt, were among the first farmers in the state to cultivate the crop, initially focusing on CBD production. However, as the CBD market began to retract, they pivoted to growing hemp for grain and fiber, recognizing the crop’s diverse applications.

“We saw a huge trajectory path for this crop to grow in the state,” Helt said, citing his grandfather’s comparison of hemp to soybeans in the 1950s.

After transitioning away from CBD hemp, Richardson and Helt began exploring other uses for the crop, eventually discovering Heartland Industries, a hemp processing facility founded in 2020. Heartland Industries uses the hemp fiber to manufacture small pellets known as nurdles, which are then transported to Ravago, a Belgian bioplastics manufacturer, to produce a bioplastic composed of 70% plastic and 30% hemp fiber.

The bioplastic is used to manufacture parts for the auto industry, offering a more sustainable alternative to traditional plastics. “We found a happy balance with the plastic manufacturing world where we can use this ingredient at 30% in the recipe, and we could see cost savings, we can see weight reduction, we can see performance maintaining the same, but most importantly we can see the reduction in carbon footprint,” said Tim Almond, chairman and co-founder of Heartland Industries.

Ohio Hemp Company’s new contract with Heartland Industries is a purchase contract to provide hemp fiber on a non-binding, year-over-year basis. The company is expanding its operations to meet the growing demand for hemp, building a new processing and storage facility and researching new varieties of hemp.

The deal is a significant milestone for Ohio’s hemp industry, highlighting the crop’s potential to create a sustainable and profitable industry in the region. “It means everything to the growth of this company and to the growth of the industry in Ohio to have a major processor with a great demand,” said Helt.

Keywords: Ohio Hemp Company, Heartland Industries, bioplastics, hemp fiber, sustainable manufacturing, auto industry, carbon footprint reduction.


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