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The Green Life: Mushrooms: The New Plastic?

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October 06, 2010

Mushrooms: The New Plastic?

EcoCradle Foam by Ecovative The old: Styrofoam makes up a quarter of U.S. landfill waste by volume. It’s in everything from surfboards and coffee cups to building insulation and packaging materials.The stuff visually represents our oil dependency: Every cubic foot of foam contains 1.5 liters of petroleum. To make matters worse, Styrofoam — like all plastics — doesn’t biograde, so it’ll still be here long after we’re gone.

The new: EcoCradle cushions like foam and costs about as much. It’s comprised of ground-up agricultural waste (like buckweat husks) and mushroom roots, which bind the food scraps as they eat them. The foam is organic and compostable, and since the mushrooms do most of the work, EcoCradle requires only about 10 percent the energy of synthetics to manufacture. The best part: An international furniture company is already using EcoCradle to package its products.

To learn more about EcoCradle, watch Ecovative's co-founder Eben Bayer talk about his company’s new product.

--Natalya Stanko

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