This Article was published on Herb.co
We’ve been looking at the innovative uses of hemp this week for Hemp History Week. While the concept of a mostly hemp body on a vehicle, aside from Henry Ford’s singular attempts almost a century ago, is a relatively new feat for the Western Hemisphere, some European manufacturers have been incorporating hemp panels into their designs for over two decades. Sure we all “ooh” and “aah” when hemp is mentioned in a product description, but the core concept of changing manufacturing into a green process goes further than just materials. It is about changing things from the ground up. The latest example: the new BMW-i3.
A history of eco-consciousness
Government regulations in the 1990’s forced most European car manufacturers to go greener by using recyclable materials, and BMW took to the challenge with gusto. It started out with trunk liners and airbag parts, but as the molding of hemp into sturdy, lighter-than-steel panels became more practical, they expanded the innovation. By 2006,…