Can fungus and wood pulp replace plastic?

Plastic’s resilience is one of its greatest attributes, but it’s also one of its biggest drawbacks: it’s hard to break, but it’s virtually impossible to breakdown. But what if we could have it both ways – a tough product that easily biodegrades?

According to Dutch microbiologist Han Wösten, just such a product will be on the market within a decade. Wösten is one of a number of Dutch thinkers who believes the future of plastic is bioplastic – a product made from waste and fortified with fungus.

Wösten has developed a process where, by injecting a core of fungus into an object made of wood pulp, the fungus expands out and simultaneously destroys the wood pulp but fortifies the object. This would be the case with any number of objects made of waste product.

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