IKEA is Much Ado About Mushroom Packaging

April 11, 2017


In the growing effort to create more sustainable packaging materials, several possibilities have peaked our interest over the years. Seaweed was one possible plastic replacement we brought to The Ernest Buzz before. Molded wood pulp is another contender. And now, we have another challenger for the next great packaging development with a big name behind it.

Mushrooms. Yup, those things your kids pick off their pizza could drastically change future use of polystyrene if Swedish furniture manufacturer and seller, IKEA, gets their way. The company, which already uses an astounding 1% of the world’s wood every year, carries a lot of weight, and if their plan for using mycelium (roots of mushrooms) is sustained, it could create a massive market for the packaging material.

IKEA mushroom packaging


It works like this: the mushrooms are grown around a mold (take the above image of a wine holder) and when they fill the mold, they are dried which allows them to hold their shape. The material is much easier to recycle and compost than the current expanded polystyrene foam (EPS – more commonly called styrofoam) inners.

We previously gave our thoughts on the use of polystyrene after San Francisco effectively halted the use of the substance in their city limits. To sum it up, we support anything that can compete with EPS’ temperature control, cushioning and price benefits. And if one of the world’s largest retailers buys into one of these innovations, then that will simply drive change faster, which we like!

Learn more about Ernest Packaging Solutions’ green initiatives for packaging (even temperature-controlled environment packaging). After all, if we start using mushrooms more for packaging than pizza, well that is one less thing your children have to worry about the next time you have a pie delivered. Oh, and it will create a cleaner planet for them too!

Give Ernest Packaging Solutions a call today to learn how we can find innovative answers to any challenge large, small or fungus-based.