Sustainable Mushroom® Packaging
Using Mycelium to make Mushrooms® Packaging.
In the age of increasing environmental consciousness, we are still receiving harmful EPS packaging daily.
EPS, also commonly known as polystyrene, is a fossil fuel-derived material. This material has been used for countless applications, from protective packaging in the form of packing corners, packing boxes and packing peanuts to coffee cups, sculptures, insulation and bicycle helmets. As a material it really has a huge impact on our everyday lives.
The success of EPS is also its downfall when it comes to the environment, this material is extremely harmful to our planet and extremely difficult to dispose of, and takes thousands of years to biodegrade.
With millions of tons of single-use polystyrene products being produced each year, it inevitably ends up in our waste. And worse, in our oceans, where a build-up of this material accumulates and is consumed by our sea life, feeding on floating pieces.
This material is now considered so harmful to our planet that many countries have banned single-use polystyrene and enforced hefty tax penalties on imports.
The huge demand for this product has driven a demand for an innovative alternative solution free of all the historical problematic environmental issues.
What is Mycelium?
Mycelium is the root-like structure of fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like called hyphae from which mushrooms grow. Not all mycelia fruit mushrooms, depending on the environmental conditions, but all mushrooms come from mycelia.
Through hyphae the mycelium breaks down and digests its surrounding organic matter that are absorbed and used as nutrients.
You may come across mycelium formations when taking a wooded walk, they intertwine with plants and tree roots and form a complex symbiotic ecosystem.
What is Mushroom® Packaging?
In 2007 a man called Eben Bayer had the foresight to work out that he could make packaging materials from mycelium. He co-founded Evocative Design LLC and Mushroom® Packaging was borne.
Mushroom® Packaging is an organically grown material which has very similar qualities to polystyrene. It is light, Strong, easy to mould and easy to produce. This type of packaging is also very cost-effective and competitive with the plastic-derived product it is fast replacing.
Mushroom® Packaging does not have the same lifespan as polystyrene, so if you are looking for something that needs to hang around for ever, then it is not for you. The product is most commonly used by sustainable conscious companies that insist that sustainability and biodegradability are critical in their product packaging lifecycle.
The product has a very desirable organic look and feel. When grown, the product is left to produce a small overgrowth which, like the skin of a mushroom, has a very velvety feel. It is surprisingly soft to the touch. This unique quality only helps protect products.
Although Mushroom® Packaging material is totally organic, it is also hydrophobic and flame-resistant whilst staying amazingly resilient, insulating and breathable.