Creative startup Radial Biomaterials have harnessed the natural growth of fungi to develop circular materials that can replace polystyrene, MDF and even animal leather. In this process, the starting point is agricultural waste, collected from local agave farms that supply the tequila industry. When fungi are planted in this organic matter, its thread-like roots begin to expand and solidify. With a little guidance, these living networks can be molded into sheets of robust, flexible and even fire-resistant material. They are also biodegradable and emit up to 95% less carbon dioxide than petroleum-based options like plastic or styrofoam.
WINNER OF THE NO WASTE CHALLENGE
Radial Biomaterials is one of the winners of What Design Can Do’s No Waste Challenge, which was launched earlier this year together with IKEA Foundation, to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time: waste.