Ikea has made huge steps towards helping the environment by replacing regular polystyrene plastic styrofoam.
The purpose of styrofoam is to hold delicate products during shipping and has added greatly to the piles of waste all over the world as it becomes more materialistic.
Usually this takes hundreds of years to break down in landfills and is harmful to animal environments. Thankfully there’s a solution referred to as “mycofoam” that serves the same purpose but is biodegradable and breaks down in only a few weeks.
The makers of it cite that after you open your product, you can either “throw it into a lake to feed fishes” or your compost pile as a brown material. It’s an interesting step in the right direction, if you ask me.
The process is simple, it’s made from natural organic products mixed with mushroom spores.
Corn, hemp hulls, oat hulls, cotton burrs and other waste products from the agricultural industry are molded into the desired shape and seeded with spores. The mushroom is allowed to grow, increasing stability of the project until it reaches a desired strength point.
From there they heat and then dry the packaging to stop the growth of the mold. Then you just package and ship it out! Ikea has made the first steps to adopting this which is good because the majority of their products come with at least some amount of shipping foam.
It’s better for the environment as far as the biodegradable capabilities but also when you consider manufacture. There’s virtually no fossil fuels involved in the process either with the product itself or melting it down the way that foam packaging companies do. This foam is used to package glass, electronics, furniture and more. The potential is endless.