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Another Win for Mycelium Packaging: Monc Partners with Magical Mushroom

In a bold move towards sustainability, Monc, the independent London eyewear company, chose to tap into the power of mycelium feeding on agricultural waste to create a fully biodegradable packaging for their product range.

Partnering with U.K mycelium material company, Magical Mushroom, they claim their packaging is home-compostable within a mere 45 days. Upon returning to the earth, it continues to contribute positively, locking carbon safely away and enriching the soil with essential nitrates.

Addressing the Broken Recycling System

Recent statistics reveal a grim reality - a staggering 45.7% of all UK household waste is categorized as recycled, although the fate of much of it remains unknown. The recycling journey often leads to Europe or Asia, where the majority of paper, cardboard, and plastics are sent for processing. In 2018 alone, the UK exported a massive 611,000 tonnes of plastic packaging to other nations.

Unfortunately, this system is plagued by inefficiency and contamination, making the recycling process arduous and environmentally damaging. Mismanagement of waste results in littered landscapes and open landfills, highlighting the urgent need for alternative solutions.

Embracing Innovation: Turning Waste into Potential

To address these pressing issues, Monc joined forces with the pioneering team at the Magical Mushroom Company. Since 2019, they have been at the forefront of mycelium packaging production in the UK, with a mission to replace environmentally harmful expanded polystyrene.

The new packaging is crafted by combining fungi spores with agricultural byproducts like hemp substrate, alongside a dash of plain flour. Once the MONC moulds are filled, the mycelium spores feast on the substrate, forming a robust ecosystem as their hyphae extend in search of nutrients.

After a brief 4-day growth period in sealed pods, the boxes are carefully removed from the moulds and left to 'overgrow' for an additional two days, resulting in a marshmallow-like texture. The final step involves placing the boxes in an oven to halt further growth. This process, spanning 7 days, underscores the efficiency and sustainability of mycelium-based packaging.

A Mycelium Powered Future for Packaging

Mycelium packaging is poised to revolutionize the sustainability landscape with its remarkable growth potential. As a biodegradable and renewable resource, mycelium is gaining traction as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional packaging materials. According to Future Market Insights, the global mycelium packaging market size is projected to be valued at $74 million in 2023, and it’s expected to rise to a staggering $187 million by 20331. This burgeoning sector is anticipated to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions, coupled with favorable government regulations and innovative packaging technology, is propelling the industry forward. With its versatility and adaptability, mycelium packaging is not just a trend but a viable solution for a circular economy, offering a promising future for global markets and the environment alike.


[Image credits: Monc]


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