IKEA's next step for sustainability

The eco-responsible furniture company is transitioning to biobased packaging made out of mushrooms.
IKEA's biobased packaging plan

It’s well known that multinational furniture brand IKEA has been pursuing a sustainable production model for years. It no longer uses plastic bags, invests millions of dollars in clean technology, recycles waste produced by its stores and makes nearly all its products from recycled materials. The next step for the company is eco-friendly packaging as it plans to switch from polystyrene to organic, mushroom-based packaging for its flat-pack furniture.

Reportedly, IKEA is keen to work with US-based company Ecovative, known for its advancements with mushrooms as a biobased material. The packaging will be made up of mycelium, which is the root portion of a mushroom. Experiments with mycelium have proven its value as a sustainable building material that can be quickly grown and easily moulded into customised forms. 

The greatest advantage of the biobased packaging is that it is easy to recycle and it is completely biodegradable, which means consumers can leave the packaging outside to decompose. This will be an environmental win for IKEA considering that polystyrene takes thousands of years to decompose. 

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