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How mushrooms could save the world

IKEA is using new biodegradable packaging made from mycelium or mushroom roots. And Dell has been using mushroom packaging for years now.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jun 08, 2016, 07.40 AM IST
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Could it be possible that the answer to the planet’s woes like the trillions of pieces of plastic currently floating in oceans, which could take hundreds or thousands of years to break down, is fungus?

In 2012, Yale researchers found pestalotiopsis microspora in the Amazon, a rare mushroom that can break down polyurethane, the main component in plastic. While scientists have been trying to find ways to use it to eliminate plastic waste, Austrian designer Katharina Unger and Utrecht University have created the Fungi Mutarium, an incubator-like system consisting egg-shaped pods which cultivates fungi that feasts on plastic into mushrooms fit for human consumption.

Meanwhile, IKEA is using new biodegradable packaging made from mycelium or mushroom roots. And Dell has been using mycelium or mushroom packaging for its servers for a few years. Now, that’s food for thought.
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