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Your next IKEA dresser will be delivered with the help of fungi

Might fibre-based packaging shift retail in an environmentally more friendly direction?

IKEA is moving away from styrofoam to fungi packaging in an effort to reduce waste. Up until this switch the company was literally filling the air and the empty space in its flat packs with something that is more dangerous than the air itself: expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam.

Developed by Evocative, the packaging material comes from fibre-based material, which can be recycled many times and works well with recycling systems used by most countries today. The new fibre-based material is actually made out of mushrooms.

Phasing out packaging solutions to replace them with recyclable and more sustainable alternatives is certainly a positive move for the environment. To put the scale in perspective: The volume of EPS used at IKEA before the change equaled 7,400 trucks filled with polystyrene foam or more than half the volume of the Empire State Building. The company hopes to make the switch in the near future. The hope is that this will change packaging solutions throughout the home furnishing industry.

It high time for industry to develop recyclable alternatives that are as good or better, as cheap or cheaper and as simple to use as polystyrene.

IKEA People and Planet | Evocative

Originally published at www.psfk.com on March 4, 2016.