Packaging Innovation: Are Mushrooms the new Styrofoam?

Alternative News / Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Cluster of small white mushrooms

For years, developers have been trying to design a substitute for Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a brand name for expanded polystyrene, and requires precious fossil fuels and a lot of energy to manufacture. Styrofoam is generally used to cushion fragile consumer goods and once the package is opened, it ends up in the garbage, clogging landfills since it is virtually unrecyclable.

A revolutionary packaging substitute is EcoCradle. It requires 10% of the energy used to make Styrofoam, and is 100% organic. Once you’re done with an EcoCradle packaging buffer, it can be used as mulch in your garden, composted or even thrown away. EcoCradle is also completely fireproof, while Styrofoam is highly flammable.

The materials that go into Eco Cradle are all naturally occurring waste products, like mushroom, buckwheat hulls, rice hulls, or expired cereal.

Founded by a pair of engineers, the company is working to make not only a replacement for styrofoam “peanuts” and “shells” but a variety of other materials from home insulation to kitchen counters.

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