How often do you have an online purchase delivered or buy an electrical appliance and find the amount of protective packaging exceeds the volume of the item itself? Usually this packaging material is petrochemical based and non-recyclable, and even when the packaging material is recyclable, it is still reliant on the end consumer playing their part and recycling it.
With this in mind some companies are looking for eco-friendly, cost-effective alternatives to packaging their goods in a bid to reduce waste and show their customer that they really do care about the environment.
A truly innovative alternative to plastic foam packaging comes from American owned, material science company Ecovative. They are producing bespoke packaging using waste agricultural material and mushroom Mycelium (the root fibre of mushrooms). When the Mycelium is mixed with waste material such as corn stalks it digests the waste material and spreads, acting like a glue to bind everything together. What you’re left with is an environmentally friendly fully compostable material that matches in cost and performance the plastic packaging it replaces. It also requires only a fifth to one eighth of the energy used to manufacture the equivalent volume of foam plastic.
Any shape of packaging can be achieved depending on the mould and the type and ratio of crop waste versus Mycelium used.
Not only is this process applicable for packaging but development is underway to use the technology to produce eco-friendly panel insulation for buildings.
So let’s help to reduce waste – start growing your packaging.
Posted 29 May 2015Previous Next