The time for change is upon us. Today, the impact of human activity on our planet has become unmistakably devastating, increasingly urgent, and much more costly to address. This pressing need for environmental action presents both a daunting risk and an important opportunity. In the next 60 seconds, well over 700 tonnes of plastic will be produced somewhere on this pale blue dot floating in space. In the minute it will take for that information to truly sink in, another 700 tonnes will have been produced.
Enter the cannabis industry, whose rapid recreational and medical expansion is adding fuel to the fire – not only in terms of its use of plastic, but also in light of the significant amounts of plant waste generated during the harvesting process. It’s for this reason that the minds at Moharram Ventures (MVI) have developed Truly Green Plastic™, an innovative means of pitting each of these pressures against one another by using cannabis plant waste to create fully-biodegradable, bio-based polymers with various applications.
After two years of hard work, several significant parties have taken notice. For instance, through a partnership with Lambton College, the team’s expanded project proposal (worth over $800,000 dollars during the next five years) was approved by Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). “This is a really exciting time for us,” said Tarek Moharram, MVI’s Founder and President. “Having the federal government contribute nearly $400,000 dollars to support our efforts helps us to accelerate our pace and also demonstrates the significant emphasis our nation is placing upon fostering Canadian innovation. I am so proud of what our team has been able to accomplish.”
Christina Fox, CEO of TechAlliance Southwestern Ontario, couldn’t agree more. “When we say that ‘we are the place for dreamers, innovators, and world-changing ideas’, we mean it. What better an example than Moharram Ventures, who lives out their Dream, then Do philosophy by innovating to beat some of our planet’s most pressing issues? We are proud to have them actively engaged with TechAlliance, so that we can all celebrate their scientific discoveries and national recognition together.”
Not only will Truly Green Plastic™ help to mitigate the harmful environmental impact of both plastic waste and cannabis waste, but keeping the project right here in Canada will benefit our economy. “We are pleased that Moharram Ventures and Lambton College have fostered such a positive working relationship around Truly Green Plastic, building on Lambton College’s recognition as a top research college in Canada” said Stephen Thompson, CEO at the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP). “With a diverse and mid-sized population, a variety of industry sectors, and access to research and development facilities, London is an ideal place in Canada to test out new ideas and products,” said Kapil Lakhotia, President and CEO of the London Economic Development Corporation. “It’s exciting to see Moharram Ventures exploring such an innovative idea for an emerging industry that regional cannabis producers could leverage.”
Dr. Baoling Chen, Lambton College’s Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Advanced Biotechnology and Natural Health Products, and her team will assist MVI in taking this ground-breaking idea to the next level. “Now that Tarek’s team has proven it is possible to use cannabis plant waste for this purpose, we have joined forces to use our state-of-the art equipment to test the mechanical properties of this versatile polymer in its proposed compositions and then consider all of the potential consumer applications. We have already worked with a number of companies to boost their promising projects on the way to notable commercial success and I am confident that Moharram Ventures will be joining this group very soon.”