Morris Township native JD Leadam is seeking funding for an invention designed to replace disposable plastic water bottles.
The Hemp Bottle is made from the most durable natural fiber on earth, Leadam said.
Leadam is seeking $15,000 in funding for testing plastic compositions and designing and manufacturing a mold for his product. He has 62 backers already and eight days to go on his campaign for $8,500 of the funding on Kickstarter.com.
He said he has resources at his school, San Jose State University in California, to design and tool the plastic mold once the funding is in place. He also has resources to test for the best hemp plastic composition for the bottle.
Hemp was a logical choice for a replacement for the non-biodegradable plastic bottle, Leadam said. It is more durable and does not leach toxins into the contents as the plastics used today do. The DEHP leached by one-time-use bottles has been linked to obesity, diabetes, learning disabilities such as ADD and ADHD, cognitive and brain development problems, sexual development problems and cancer, his webpage said. These bottles will never biodegrade in a landfill because they require sunlight to break down, he said.
In addition, of the 25 billion single-use plastic bottles, more than 80 percent will be disposed of improperly.
The current alternatives, aluminum, glass or BPA-free polycarbonate plastic bottles may break or crack easily and are also not biodegradable.
Industrial hemp has long stalks with strong fibers. .
Misconceptions about its relationship with other strains of Cannabis Sativa has kept hemp underutilized for manufacture, Leadam said.
Leadam’s invention won three awards at the 2011 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge: Most Innovative Idea, Best Elevator Pitch and People’s Choice Award.
Should the campaign raise more than $15,000, Leadam will use the additional money to apply for a patent and begin manufacturing.