IKEA will soon be swapping Styrofoam for an eco-friendly fungi packaging as a conscious effort to reduce its waste. American biomaterials company Ecovative manufactures Mushroom Packaging, which trades the environmentally harmful, industry standard material called polystyrene — a non-sustainable, non-renewable commodity made from petroleum that takes thousands of years to break down — for a biodegradable mycelium mixture, which can decompose in your garden within a matter of weeks. Essentially the vegetative “roots” of a fungus, mycelium can be molded with agricultural waste to create bespoke packaging to fit any product. The idea has been around since 2006, but the Scandinavian furniture maker is pledging to roll these out to its worldwide locations soon.
A few years ago the French ministry of ecology found that people throw away more than 14 million tons of polystyrene into landfills every year; at this rate, 99% of birds on our planet will have plastic in their guts by the year 2050. Learn more about Mushroom Packaging and other future applications of Myco-Foam which include furniture, coolers, buoys and rafts, and insulation and acoustics.