"Mycelium instead of plastic"

Techcrunch - 27/06/2022

Global plastic waste has more than doubled, and 40% of that waste comes from packaging. Luckily there is no shortage of sustainable packaging startups in Europe. Just take a look: Circleback (Germany), Recup (Germany), Sourceful (U.K.), one • five (Germany), Shellworks (U.K.), Woola (Estonia), Papkot (France), Biotic (Israel), FunCell (France) and Traceless (Germany).

The latest to join the ranks is Magical Mushroom Company (MMC). It’s now raised a £3 million seed round led by Ecovative Design LLC with participation by Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity (a green energy company in the U.K.); Robert Del Naja (activist); and Marcus Watson, co-founder of Adoreum Partners, who brought 30 other investors.

The investment will be used to fund the opening of its first raw material production plant.

MMC’s solution is a direct replacement for plastic-based packaging such as polystyrene and cardboard. It does this by combining agricultural waste with mycelium — the root structure of a mushroom. The result, claims the company, is biodegradable (in 45 days), durable and comparable in price to traditional packaging derived from fossil fuels like polystyrene.

Launched in 2019, MMC’s clients include Raymarine, BA Components, Castrads, Ffern, Selfridges, Lush, Seedlip and ID Watch, among many others.

Paul Gilligan, CEO and Co-Founder at Magical Mushroom Company, said in a statement: “We have just eight years to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and businesses have a crucial role to play – but they need viable and cost-effective solutions that significantly reduce the carbon footprint across their entire supply chain. We’re proud to be creating value from waste and unlocking the potential of mycelium.”