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Ikea introduces its new mushroom packaging to provide a biodegradable alternative to their polystyrene packaging.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: matadornetwork.com

We know Sweden has a reputation for innovative thinking. Their new biodegradable mushroom packaging is set to be a sustainable replacement for their polystyrene packaging products. 

This new type of packaging can decompose in the garden in just a few weeks. IKEA is looking to reduce its environmental impact whilst at the same time promoting recycling.

Mushroom Packaging, or Fungi Packaging as its known has been developed by Ecovative Design. Mushroom cells or Mycelium are allowed to grow around non toxic environmental waste like corn stalks and husks. A few days later the fungi fibers attach to the waste to form a solid shape upon drying. 


In comparison Polystyrene and aluminium foil packaging can take several thousands of years to decompose. The mycelium can grow and form in just a week or two!



I do not think this is just another packaging gimmick. Its actually got big potential, mainly due to the fact that you can grow it and mould it to any size you require. Of course expertise ifs required here but not so much that it would prevent widespread adoption across many product lines in FMCG markets. 


It is essentially bespoke sustainable packaging and as you would expect it is not the first IKEA have come up with!


They have already developed a vegetarian version of their famous in store meal of meatballs and sauce in response to customer concerns regarding the impact of rearing animals and livestock for beef and pork. As we know when Animals commoditised in this way to feed our food addiction, it leads to excess greenhouse gases. 


It is clear that IKEA wants to have a positive impact on the planet and the people that live on it, but we are seeing this play time and time again. Customers with their concerns and increasing awareness drive the changes they want to see. 


Its is good to see IKEA taking the lead on this though. Waste products should be turned into resources and not just dumped!


Lets hope these reverse material flows with their recycling initiatives will be standard for large retailers in the near future.