What can be said about the noble packing peanut? For decades, shipping companies have filled boxes with these fluffy petroleum nuggets in order to keep our plates unbroken and our books cushioned. For a culture of consumers, the packing peanut is iconic.
Digging through packing peanuts is a tradition - and an environmental mess. Every packing peanut ever produced still exists - over 300 million cubic feet in total. They float in rivers, sink into the soil, and make their way into bird nests. Drop a few from your Amazon.com box and they'll stick around until 2515. That's one long-haul shipment.
Enter Ecovative Design, a small company with the big goal of changing how we ship products. Instead of overturning the dominance of petroleum peanuts, Ecovative is changing the game by producing a natural packing foam from mushroom spores. As the functional fungi's creator says, Ecovative produces styrofoam without the waste:
Would you ship an antique in a box of mushroom-based packing material? Join in the discussion on how to bring this and other environmentally smart concepts to market by signing up at PlanetForward.