Ikea Is Replacing Styrofoam Packaging With Compostable Mushroom-Foam

Ikea is known for its practical furniture and innovative design ideas, but now it is also trying to become more aware of its carbon footprint and environmental impact. The company decided to gradually shift towards an eco-friendlier packaging made from a mushroom-based, and biodegradable one instead of the classical polystyrene (Styrofoam).

The product is called Mycofoam and it is made out of agricultural waste products (corn, hemp and mushrooms spores). After collected, the waste is placed into molds to get the desired shape and lined with mushroom spores which will eventually sprout mycelium in order to create a web of that will hold the packaging together.
Once the foam has the desired consistency, it will be heated and then dried in order to achieve the desired shape and stop the mycelium from spreading.

This biodegradable packaging is, in fact, a highly shock-resistant one, so furniture and home decor can be transported inside safely and on long distances. Once you no longer need the Mycofoam, you can easily place it in your compost pile and it will decompose in a couple of weeks, compared to Styrofoam which can take thousands of years. Since no fossil fuel is used in the manufacturing of Mycofoam, it is also much cheaper and leaves no major environmental impact.

Hopefully, with their new approach, Ikea will lead the way for more companies to switch to biodegradable packaging.

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