Anyone who has a keen eye on the environment will be aware of the fact that polystyrene is playing a key role in its devastation. This is because Polystyrene (made from petroleum) is a non-renewable, non-sustainable, product that is also heavily polluting and not biodegradable, meaning it takes thousands of years to break down.

Eco-friendly Mushroom-based packaging

Sadly, as cited by the French Ministry of Ecology, we still populate landfills with a staggering 14 million tonnes of Polystyrene annually.


Obviously something drastic needs to be done to address this, as we all know that this is simply unacceptable, and the good news is that Ikea, the Swedish furniture and housewares company, concurs.


It’s seems that it’s not just the nature-loving luxury camping UK eco-enthusiasts that are keen to address the environmental devastation polystyrene creates by taking positive steps toward change, with the affordable furniture retailer planning to use the biodegradable mycelium, or fungi packaging to you and I, in conjunction with their plans to decrease waste and escalate recycling.


Ecovative, an American company, is behind the development of this Polystyrene alternative and the eco-friendly Mushroom Packaging, as it’s referred to, is made by allowing mycelium to grow around clean agricultural waste, for example corn stalks or husks. Given less than a week to ‘do its thing’, the fungus fibres bind the waste together, creating a solid shape. The next step is quite simply to dry the new shape in order to prevent it from growing any further. Quite remarkable really!


Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for Ikea in the U.K., recently addressed the issue and stated that Ikea were aware of the harm that Polystyrene is doing environmentally, and in terms of wildlife, and they are determined to do their bit to address this problem with a sustainable alternative.


If you were wondering how Mushroom Packaging can be disposed of, you can place it in the garden or similar space and it will biodegrade within a matter of weeks!


Originally created a decade ago, Ecovative is already producing the eco-product to large companies, one notably being Dell. The multinational computer technology company currently uses the packaging to cushion large computer servers.


Ecovative have also announced that they are, at present, working with various companies in the U.K. to supply them with their ingenious product.




Image: mycobond under Creative Commons.

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