Bioplastics have become increasingly important in recent times – they’re environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics, which are not only non-biodegradable but also one of the major causes of the depletion of natural resources.
Bioplastics are the biodegradable and non-pollutive plastics that are made from plant and animal products including seeds, leaves, algae, fish waste and even stones. However, in this article, we’re here to tell you about a different kind of bioplastic, one made from mushrooms: a type of fungus.
This plastic is very resilient, completely and rapidly biodegradable, prepared from the extracts obtained from fungal mycelia. It is beneficial for the environment because it doesn’t consume valuable natural resources and its manufacturing process has a carbon footprint that’s almost zero.
In addition to that, unlike petroleum-based plastic products, it does not produce any toxic fumes when burnt and keeps the air fresh and clean.
Although this mushroom-based plastic has many applications, one of the most common and popular uses for this plastic is as a substitute of leather. This is produced from a woven cellular microstructure derived from mushrooms and sold under the brand name of Resihi Mycelium. Compared to leather obtained from the skin of animals, the fine Reishi mycelium is both sustainable as well as versatile.
The materials produced from fungal mycelium are very promising since they perform better and are of much better quality compared to traditional leather. They even emulate the aesthetics of leather and synthetic plastics without having a high carbon footprint.
This material is currently being used in a selection of European luxury footwear brands and more money is being invested in the manufacturing processes of this commercially viable, fungus-based plastic and leather alternative.
In terms of limiting fossil-based plastic consumption, this bio-material aims to outperform existing animal leathers that are produced sustainability.