Ikea To Use Mushroom Based Packaging That Will Decompose In A Garden Within Weeks

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Reducing waste and increasing recycling has become the main attitude of many producers nowadays.  It also happens with the furniture retailers, such as Ikea, who is looking at using biodegradable mycelium “fungi packaging” as part of its efforts to support this idea.

These efforts are made to replace the polystyrene, which has become devastating to the environment. The fact-sheet provided by Harvard shows that polystyrene – which is made from petroleum, is not biodegradable, as it takes thousands of years to break down. It is, also, dangerous to wildlife that ingests it.

Even though these facts are well-known to people, according to the French ministry of ecology, many of them continue to toss more than 14 million tons of that stuff into landfills every year.

Unfortunately, styrofoam pollution will continue to be a problem until every individual decided to “be the change” and live consciously, because, for instance, the estimation is that by 2050, 99% of birds on this planet will have plastic in their guts.

This couldn’t be acceptable, and many projects raise the awareness of that problem.  Thankfully, the number of producers, like the Swedish company Ikea, accept those programs and started to implement them.

They started looking to use the biodegradable mycelium “fungi packaging” as part of its efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste.

According to the National Post, mycelium is the part of a fungus that effectively acts as its roots. Growing in a mass of branched fibers, it attaches to the soil or whatever surface it is growing on.

Mushroom Packaging, as it’s called, is the alternative for Styrofoam, which is developed by the American company Ecovative. It is created by letting the mycelium grow around clean agricultural waste, such as corn stalks or husks. The fungus fibers bind the waste together, forming a solid shape and after a few days, it is dried to prevent it from growing any further.

This eco-friendly packaging is truly a revolutionary invention, and Ikea intends to utilize it. Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for Ikea in the U.K., explains that decision of Ikea, emphasizing that this, mycelium packaging will replace polystyrene, which is used for packing a lot of products, but these packages cannot be recycled with ease or at all.

On the other hand, Mushroom Packaging can be simply thrown in the garden where it will biodegrade within weeks.

Yarrow added:

“The great thing about mycelium is you can grow it into a mould that then fits exactly. You can create bespoke packaging.”

This method of packaging was invented in 2006 and is manufactured in Troy, New York. Many companies, including Dell and numerous large companies in Britain, are already buying this product from Ecovative.

The Mushroom Packaging is not the first eco-friendly alternative lunched by Ikea. In the past, they launched a vegetarian substitute for meatballs as a more to the Swedish dish served in its cafes. This was launched to reduce carbon emissions caused by supporting animal agriculture, not just to attract more customers.

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Source: True Activist

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