IKEA- using mushrooms to create packaging that will decompose in your garden!

Leave it up to Ikea to figure out how to rethink what we know about packaging. Known for thinking outside the box, the furniture retailer is said to be looking at using mycelium as an “eco-friendly replacement for polystyrene” and in an effort to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Ikea is looking to use mycelium packaging because many products that typically use polystyrene can’t easily be recycled (also, polystyrene takes thousands of years to decompose). The idea is simple: buy something in this new protective packaging and then throw it in the garden where it will biodegrade within weeks. Genius.

The company responsible for this product is called, Ecovative. Located in Green Island, NY, they describe mycelium this way, “…the mass of interwoven filamentous hyphae that forms especially the vegetative portion of the thallus of a fungus and is often submerged in another body (as of soil or organic matter or the tissues of a host) A.K.A. — mushroom roots”. Again, genius.

From the article:

“The American company Ecovative developed the product, which it calls Mushroom Packaging, by letting the mycelium grow around clean agricultural waste, such as corn stalks or husks. Over a few days, the fungus fibres bind the waste together, forming a solid shape, which is then dried to stop it growing any further.”

We were thrilled to hear that Ikea is also launching a vegetarian substitute for meatballs due to concerns about greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock. Wonderful. I can’t wait to try the vegetarian meatballs! Thank you Ikea for continuing to be a leader in your industry and for caring about our earth.

Source: National Post