Americans take plastic packaging material in everyday products for granted – but a burgeoning company based in central New York state doesn't. In “Packaging: A Mushrooming Business,” energyNOW! special correspondent Josh Zepps looks at how Ecovative Design is replacing materials made from polystyrene and other synthetics with environmentally friendly packaging made from mushrooms and agricultural byproducts.
Founded by a pair of engineers, the company is working to make not only a replacement for Styrofoam “peanuts” but a variety of other materials from home insulation to kitchen counters. The company has found some high-profile customers, making parts for Ford and packaging for Dell computers.
Josh also takes us into the woods to see why mushrooms could be nature's perfect packing, and to Ecovative's labs to see how a few cottonseed husks and some mushroom cells can grow into something useful and beneficial for the environment.