Mycelium May Be the Solution to Stop Pollution

Ikea is Switching to Biodegradable Packaging Made From Mushrooms And it’s not the only big company turning to this fungi packaging/

Some Scientists believe that mycelium may replace styrofoam and even plastic in the near future. Mycelium is the root-like underground part in which a mushroom grows out of. Certain types of mycelium grow and connect what it is grown in. 

One company that is hoping to change packaging is Ecovative, a company that was the first to start making mycelium products. Mycelium products are made by putting fungus spores in a mix of hemp and wood waste. The scientist can put the mycelium in molds to determine the shape of the product and control the surroundings so they do not sprout mushrooms. These molds are a good replacement for styrofoam because they are better thermal insulators and can easily break down in 60 days. The mycelium is also cheap to produce and takes only around a week to fully grow. 

It can also be used to make meat replacements that can replicate whole cuts of meat, unlike normal vegan meat that can only be ground. The arrangement of the fibers of the mycelium is arranged to replicate the meat in an animal. It also takes much less water where one pound of beef takes 1,847 thousand gallons of water to make while it only takes around one and a half gallons of water to make a pound of mycelium.

The cheap cost of production and the many different uses may make mycelium products widely used in the near future. One company that has started using this product is Ikea. They will now be using mushroom-based packaging. These steps bring us closer to having a sustainable replacement for materials such as plastic.