Ecovative Design‘s ‘Mushroom packaging’ is an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam made from mushrooms. The compostable material has many applications and could replace plastics in a variety of industries.
It is grown from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells that is like the “roots” of mushrooms. The mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts, binding them like a natural, non-toxic glue into a structural material. This is being used to create next generation biocomposite materials, replacing plastic foams and dense materials like particle board.
GOOD reports that Ecovative aims to grow it’s Mushroom Platform this year by working with strategic partner, Sealed Air, to build a second factory and continuing to improve the material’s performance and price. The company is also developing new applications for the Mushroom material, such as apparel, home goods, and building materials.