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Hemp: coming soon to a kitchen near you

Posted on April 14, 2005

Winnipeg, Manitoba — It has taken a decade to develop, but a Gretna-based company thinks it is on the verge of making it big with counter tops made with hemp fibre.

Harry Funk, president of Avanti Polymers, says the countertop has the look of granite or marble. The main difference, he says, is how light the hemp product is.

“The market is asking for a product that is lighter. There are certain industries — like the educational industry and the medical industry — that would have applications for this, to get away from some of the standard, heavy-top products. It’s really an unusual product.”

The hemp item is also more environmentally friendly than traditional countertops.

“It’s a natural product, and the industry has been directed by concerned environmental groups that they should try to become more ‘green,’” says Funk.

The hemp, which is grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is crushed or chopped and mixed with other solutions to create the countertop. Funk says more than half the product’s composition is hemp or hemp fibres.

Funk expects production to begin within the next six months, with products available to consumers in the fall.

Copyright © 2005, CBC News. All rights reserved.

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