Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

An alternative to plastic foam packaging made from agricultural crop waste bonded together with mushroom “roots”

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An alternative to plastic foam packaging made from agricultural crop waste bonded together with mushroom “roots”
Innovative use of agricultural waste bound together with mushroom mycelium to form an alternative to foam packaging materials
In Use – This material is currently being used by a number of Fortune 500 companies to package electronics, furniture, wine and other products

Benefits
Recycled content/recyclability, Other

Product Categories
Drinks, Home Improvement, Other

Relevant Materials
Plastics - Other / mixed, Other (e.g. soluble sachets )

Relevant Packaging Formats
Cushioning, Void fill (various materials and forms - solid, foamed, lattice, scrunched etc.), Other

Supply Chain Phase
Home delivery, Packing

Details

The material is made with with agricultural crop waste that cannot be used for food or feed and therefore has limited or no economic value.
A patented process cleans and prepares a blend of agricultural by products, and inoculates it with mycelium. This inoculated mixture is filled evenly into forms in an automated process.
The mycelium grows indoors in about a week without any need for light, watering or petrochemical inputs. The beauty of this process is that in effect you grow the shape you need. Every cubic inch of material contains a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibres. At the end of the process, materials are subjected to a dehydration and heat treating process to stop the growth. This final process ensures that there will never be any spores or allergen concerns.
 
 

Potential Benefits

This material can be used as an alternative to conventional plastic based foam packaging. A major benefit is that processing the material has a lower C02 impacts than equivalent conventional plastic based foam.
The material is also:
- Home compostable
-Marine degradable
-Ultra rapidly renewable
-100% biobased
-Grown from non-food, locally sourced agricultural by products such as seed husks and plant stalks
-Low energy production
-No chemicals or synthetics required

Intellectual Property

EcoCradle Mushroom Packaging is patented and patent is pending in 30 countries

Consultant View

Increased use of renewable materials is not a specific objective for CC2 and HISC signatories, but this is an innovative packaging material that makes valuable use of what would otherwise be a waste stream. It is an example of how different sectors and supply chains can find synergies to divert waste from disposal to create economically viable products.

Of course, as with any packaging change, the relative packaging costs and handling characteristics of this material will need to be compared to existing alternatives when considering adoption.

 

Contacts and Further Information

Sam Harrington
Sales and Marketing
Ecovative
60 Cohoes Ave
Green Island, NY 12183
USA
(518) 273-3753 x 1004
sam@ecovativedesign.com 
www.ecovativedesign.com 

 

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