MMC AWARDED £1.1M INNOVATE UK LOAN
Innovate UK - 09/03/2023
Magical Mushroom Company®️are happy to announce that we have been awarded a £1.1m loan from Innovate UK loans as part of their recent competition round. This low-interest finance will be used to help fund the opening of our own UK-based raw materials plant, enabling us to deliver lower-priced packaging to our existing and future clients, while also reducing our carbon footprint and helping achieve our mission of creating sustainable packaging that will make polystyrene packaging a thing of the past.
PUBLIC PROJECT DETAILS
The Magical Mushroom Company (MMC) is a UK-based SME in the sustainability industry focused on developing an alternative packaging solution that can reduce the use of expanded-polystyrene (EPS)-based packaging foams.
This project will help solve key Innovate UK targets around clean manufacturing technologies and green materials. Under an exclusive EU and UK licence from Ecovative Design LLC, MMC produces Mushroom®️ Packaging by combining mycelium with agricultural waste to grow protective packaging and provide an alternative to hard-to-recycle expanded polystyrene (EPS) and other fossil-fuel protective foams.
This project aims to open Europe's largest and the UK's first inoculation plant, which will process mycelium with feedstocks sourced from agricultural waste. In-house inoculation, which injects mycelium into the feedstock, is critical to creating packaging equivalent to the strength, price and performance of EPS.
The company's Esher/Attenborough packaging plants currently supply customers with medium volumes of Mushroom®️ Packaging and remove 800 tonnes of unrecycled EPS annually. Plastic packaging taxes are creating demand for more environmentally friendly packaging solutions.
MMC relies heavily on imports because the substrate it uses in MP production is sourced from the Netherlands (there is no UK source), which has a negative carbon impact and is counter to MMC's journey toward net zero.
It is also very costly to ship and can be damaged in transit, leading to significantly higher costs and lower margins. Mycelium grows well on the woody core of hemp, a reliable feedstock and waste from the UK/EU hemp industry. It is also both lightweight and robust for packaging applications.
MMC needs to take control of its raw materials supply to offer more carbon-efficient and cost-viable packaging solutions to impact the EPS market and further innovate production efficiencies.
Opening a 10K square-foot UK inoculation plant in the UK will allow MMC to process UK-sourced agricultural waste, producing up to 3 million kilos of raw materials and supplying MMC's three packaging plants.
MMC are very thankful to Innovate UK, our existing and future investors and Ecovative Design LLC. We also appreciate our loyal and forward-thinking clients. Further adoption from large companies such as existing clients BA Components, Raymarine, Ffern, and LOWD will make our mission of making polystyrene packaging a thing of the past a reality.
MMC's new UK inoculation plant to process local waste, produce 3M kg raw materials, and supply 3 packaging plants.