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January 11, 2024 2 min read

We've all been familiar with polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam. Many recycling programs don't accept this type of plastic, making it difficult to dispose of responsibly, so it often ends up in our bins. With a bit of wind, it flies up in the air and becomes an issue for our planet and marine life as it releases tiny fragments called microplastics. 

On to the good news, cue the drumroll...

Meet Julia Bialetska and Eugene Tomilin, the innovative minds behind S.Lab, who are turning heads with a home compostable polystyrene alternative made from mushrooms.

In 2016, after a surf trip where they were confronted with the amount of plastic in the ocean, Julia, a Ukrainian biochemist, teamed up with Tomilin to brew up a magic material using waste hemp and mushroom mycelium (the roots of the mushroom).

So, how does this work?

They blend agricultural waste - think corn husks or sawdust - with mycelium and mould it into shapes and sizes. Like building Lego blocks, but with natural materials!

The mushroom mycelium acts like Mother Nature's glue, binding everything together as it grows. After a short incubation period, you've got a sturdy, lightweight, and eco-friendly alternative to traditional polystyrene. Brilliant!

The best part?

Once you're done using it, this mushroom-based material doesn't linger like unwanted guests. Simply toss it in your compost bin, and it'll decompose naturally, giving back to the Earth without leaving a trace of plastic.

These mushroom-made marvels can do more than protect your new TV. It also insulates like a champion, making them perfect for keeping things hot or cold.

Let's tip our hats to the science wizards and the humble mushroom. They've teamed up to create a packaging superhero that's not just friendly to our planet but also incredibly effective. Embrace the 'shroom boom; we can't wait!

Until next week GFZ's, for now we think you'll lve this story about Human Bin Chickens. It's a goodie! 

Much love, Shan xx 

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