Ecological raw material mushrooms are the new plastic

Ecological raw material mushrooms are the new plastic

Ecological raw material mushrooms are the new plastic

Jan Berbee’s passion for mushrooms began with a coincidence: As a management consultant for sustainability, the Dutchman was looking for organic packaging for mushrooms on behalf of a customer a good five years ago. During his search, he came across the US start-up Ecovative: “They didn’t make any packaging for mushrooms,” he says, “but some made from mushrooms.”

The Americans had developed a technique for converting mushroom fibers into useful materials – including a packaging material that protects valuable products during transport. Berbee was so fascinated by the idea that he set about bringing it to market in Europe. Four years ago he secured the company’s license and began growing lampshades from mushroom fibers and selling them over the Internet. His company Grown Bio in the Dutch town of Hedel near Nijmwegen also offers side tables and cool bags made from the natural material.

Substitute for polyester and beef