Mycelium-tech could be the next big thing. You might think you are familiar with the humble mushroom. Fried, they work well as a breakfast option, for example. Alternatively, they could perhaps be chopped into a pasta dish or salad. However, when you buy mushrooms in your local store or – even better – see them sprouting in the woods, this is just a very small part of the story. Down below, in the earth, is where the real excitement happens. The mycelium are the effective roots of the mushrooms; an underground network or web, which not only carries essential nutrients but – when reconfigured – could serve as a plastic substitute.
We have written regularly about the darker side of plastic. Sure, it’s been a marvellous invention, but its practicality is also its curse. Since it is generally cheaper to make new plastic than to recycle old, over 90% of all plastic produced is not recycled. Instead, it often finds its way into oceans and hence eventually also into the food we eat. Some studies suggest that humans consume an average of five micrograms of plastic each day.
Mycelium may provide a good – and cheap, given its abundance – solution to the problem. Take any form of agricultural waste, bind it with mycelium fibres and then preserve it in an appropriate temperature and humidity-controlled environment, and you have mycelium foam. To produce this substitute material uses about 12% of the energy compared to plastic production and generates 90% lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Mycelium foam is also fully biodegradable, returning to its original matter within 40 days.
Many businesses have already begun to grasp the possibilities offered by mushrooms. Beyond potential efficiency gains and novelty benefits, manipulating mycelium can clearly provide a boost for one’s environmental credentials. Clothing brands including Adidas (check the Stan Smith mylo trainer), Kering and Lululemon have launched products containing mushroom-based substances. IKEA has started using mycelium foam as a substitute for polystyrene packaging around some of its products. Bans on Styrofoam food containers in some US states may also accelerate the deployment of mycelium at quick service restaurant chains and the like. Elsewhere, several players in the building industry are exploring the possibility of mycelium as a potential insulation material. This may just be the beginning. Next time you see a mushroom, offer it your thanks – its mycelium is helping to change the world.
The inspiration for this week’s Blog and the statistics cited above came from watching this short video on YouTube.
The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.
Click here to view all Blog posts.
The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document.
The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent.
Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected]
Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Get The Updates
Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right