Friday, 29 October 2010

Toxic White Stuff: Eben Bayer on Bio-packaging

Many computer and electronic gadget manufacturers are or have become increasingly aware of, building their devices with recyclable materials through which they promote their products with Green Energy Certification. This is all well and good for consumers and green industrial standards alike, but what of the packaging used for these devices ? Most if not all computer hardware and just about every gadget we pick up from the electronics store is boxed using preformed polystyrene foam, or Styrofoam. And while many artists, architects, model makers and diy-ers, etc love to create and build with it, the material has a huge downside - it doesn't and will never, ever ever break down and disintegrate with the earth - in other words its simply not compostable.

According to Eben Bayer the USA alone currently spends $20 billion a year to produce all sorts of Styrofoam, from coolers to carryout containers and untold amounts of packaging. It takes 1.5 liters of petrol to produce just one cubic foot of the stuff, and Styrofoam occupies 25 percent of our landfills.

Eben Bayer, in the video here, talks about a better solution based on natures recycling system using Mycelium found in mushrooms as the glue for his new packaging called Mycobond. His initiative transforms low-value agricultural byproducts into strong biological composites that can be used as biodegradable alternatives to conventional polluting plastics, foams, and packaging materials.

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