Ecovative Design is transforming the typical packing, creating an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam made from mushrooms. Their goal: to create a viable, eco-friendly alternative to the plastics industry and particularly to polystyrene, the versatile synthetic polymer best known for Styrofoam cups and packing peanuts.
Mushroom® Packaging – a compostable packaging alternative made of agricultural waste 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.
Beyond packing alternatives, Ecovative Design is constantly developing new uses for the product and could eventually replace plastics in a variety of industries and applications. In fact, GOOD reports Ecovative will be working with its strategic partner, Sealed Air, to build a second factory in the U.S. and continuing to improve its sustainable material’s performance and price.