According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are two negative impacts to the environment and wildlife when an oil spill occurs: the spread of toxic oil which harms fish and wildlife and the detrimental chemical agents used to clean the spill which spread in air, land and sea.
Natural alternatives, however, are available for bioremediation. Plants with core fiber have been proven effective for bioremediation, as the microorganisms living in the plant break down the oil by feeding off of it, metabolizing it, and releasing it back into the water or soil without the toxins.
When oil spills in bodies of water, sawdust-like material made of hemp core fibers could be spread over the top layer of oil. As it washes ashore, it can be collected and used as compost. The particles not washed ashore would decompose and safely become part of the ecosystem.
Land-based oil spills can also be treated with hemp by planting hemp in the soil. Hemp is very capable of pulling toxins from the soil, metabolizing them and turning the harmful agents into harmless hemp.
Why isn’t hemp, then, the standard for environmental oil cleanups? One: it’s more costly than chemical agents; and, two: not all states have enacted pilot programs for industrial hemp under the Agricultural Act of 2014 a.k.a. The Farm Bill, so hemp could not be utilized in many states.
And how can hemp prevent all future oil spills? Hemp can replace fossil fuel. Biofuel made from hemp is both non-toxic and efficient and would protect the environment for years to come.
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