Enkey Magazine
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How the mushrooms give rise to the plastic

The mushrooms are always a redundant and spontaneoulsy resource present on our planet. We can find them everywhere: on the banks of the rivers, along the paths, in the forests, in the hills, in the mountains, in the gardens, in the city’s parks. They can grow even inside the houses, especially in the countryside, for example in the basements, on the wood’s beams or in warehouses and taverns. Furthermore, the mushrooms are often associated with the molds’ family: infact, the molds are nothing more than a kind of multicellular mushrooms. For the humans and the animals there are some of these that we know, even particular mushrooms called pathogen mushrooms, microscopic, which are for example the cause of mycosis. Specific species of mushrooms can often contain poisonous substances not assimilable by animals and human beings. But how is it possible that the mushrooms become an important resource? How can they give rise to the plastic?

From the mushrooms to the sustainable plastic

The secret is hidden in only one substance: the mycelium. The mycelium is the vegetative apparatus of the mushrooms. The mushrooms grow thanks to it. the mycelium has the duty to release the spores, to allow the mushrooms’ breeding. Infact, obtaining this substance is the first step for who would like to get closer to the mushrooms production and practice it. The mycelium is composed by a number of interconnected filamentous cells, this structural configuration is the reason for which it could become a substainable plastic.

We can note that the marketing and commerce’s world is focused on tonns and tonns of production, usage and disposal of every kind of plastic. The plastic pervaded the modernity and the whole productive and economic system that infact is still hardly focused on the energy created by the petrol.


Why do replace the plastic

The plastic is one of the arch enemy of our planet because it makes production’s costs, pollution and disposal’s problems. We just have to think that in the pacific ocean there is a real “plastic’s island” three times bigger than the France. The plastic is been piled up and spreaded making pollution of the air, ground, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Let’s consider for example a kind of plastic, the PET. You surely red this abbreviation on the bottom of a plastic bottle, the PET infact is the most spreaded material for the water’s bottles production and it creates pollution both during the production phase and during the disposal phase. To produce a kg of PET infact we consume 2 kg of petrol and 17.5 l of water. But this isn’t enough, during the production phase of the same Kg of PET in the atmosphere will be released: 40 gramms of hydrocarbon, 25 gramms of sulphur dioxide, 20 gramms of nitrogen oxides, 18 gramms of carbon monoxide and 2,3 Kg of carbon dioxide. Obviusly we still have to consider the transport’s costs, the collection’s costs, the disposal’s costs. The plastic so, costs a lot both for our pockets and for our planet.

Plastic island

The new plastic

We have to create an alternative to the plastic materials: we have to obtain sustainable plastics. The mushrooms allow to do it and to strongly contribute to the elimination of the plastic material. The mycelium, this thready substance, can naturally tie to many substrates, like the sawdust: the made mixture can be shaped in every kind of objects like bricks, pannels, packed’s shavings and even furnitures. Furthermore, the new substainable plastic won’t have a production which will impact the environment and even it will be dispose along the composting system.

The new plastic resulting from the mushrooms is really used in the design’s world, especially in Holland. Likely, even a dutch stylist, Aniela Hoitink, used the mycelium to obtan a new fabric, the MycoTex, which has a strong flexibility, for the realization of tailored suits.


This post is also available in: Italiano

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