Product changes are risky and/or costly, especially when they involve radical material changes. Let’s say aluminum alloy has been used for decades to build a car body. Somebody decides to use hemp fiber. There is no history of the new material structural behavior, even if the body behaves in lab tests as expected and there is no functional difference between the two, a long history of testing it by the regulatory agencies and on the road is needed. Who will take that risk? Think about the electric car, how many false starts have there been in more than 130 years of automobile history. And the EV does not involve radical material changes from the IC car.
The cost differential is based on a false comparison: fossil fuels are not fully priced to consumers, direct subsidies and social and environmental externalities are not included (climate change, air pollution, health, wars, etc). It is these very externalities that drive the need to replace them with bio-based materials.
I am convinced that it will be easy to change consumers demand, but I am worried about changing the supply. Big and complex manufacturers do not change easily.
Back to the car as an example of systems thinking; an engineer is responsible for the car body design. His responsibility and unfortunately many times his curiosity are limited to complying with the product requirements document. Does he know the consequences of making the body near the place of use or as far away as possible for low labor cost advantages? Or where does the car body end up at the end of its use? Does it end there too soon? Does he think about or calculate all the consequences of choosing aluminum instead of hemp? No, but in a circular economy, which requires systems thinking, he has to.