IKEA to use biodegradable mushroom-based ‘foam’

Brittany A. Roston - Mar 2, 2016, 5:46 pm CST
IKEA to use biodegradable mushroom-based ‘foam’

IKEA will soon start using more environmentally-friendly packaging in place of the polystyrene that is currently being used. The new packaging is made from mushrooms by Ecovative, a U.S.-based company. This packaging is made using mycelium, the white fibrous ‘roots’ from which mushrooms grow. Dubbed fungi packaging, the new eco-friendly packaging aims to cut down on waste by decomposing quickly once thrown away.

Mycelium is a clever substrate for making ‘foam’ packaging, in that it grows quickly and binds together dense enough to form a protective block. Furthermore, it can be grown in a mold designed for different products, including the wine bottle you see above.

Once the mycelium grows to whatever desired degree, the company dehydrates it, which stops the growth and keeps it from decaying. Unlike polystyrene, though, the fungi packaging is recyclable, and will degrade in a month or so when put out to compost. It can simply be added to a flower bed or garden, for example.

IKEA doesn’t currently use mycelium packaging, but has confirmed it is looking into it. Some other big-name companies already use Ecovative’s biodegradable packing, including Dell. This is the latest move on IKEA’s part to increase its eco-friendliness. In a statement, a company spokesperson said:

IKEA wants to have a positive impact on people and planet, which includes taking a lead in turning waste into resources, developing reverse material flows for waste materials and ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled.

VIA: The Telegraph

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