Dell champignons alternative packaging materials

19 June 2013
One of the big bugbears for consumers these days is waste. A particular annoyance is the amount of packaging used on food and other household items. Retailers have become aware of the concerns and SM has reported on projects such as the ‘naked cucumber initiative’, where the Co-operative removed wrapping to make an annual saving of eight tonnes of plastic, and ‘holey grail tomatoes’, where it discovered fewer, smaller holes in the packaging extended their shelf life. But now, we discover it is the vegetables helping to create waste-free packaging. As reported today in SM, computer firm Dell is using mushrooms as an alternative type of foam to protect its computers in transit. This does not mean you receive your shiny new desktop machine nestling in a bed of fungi – although that is quite an image. Dell has discovered that if they inject some mushroom spawn in a mold of cotton or rice hulls after a week or so, the product will look and act like Styrofoam. Let’s hope this leads to more innovation in this field. But I do have one request to the scientists creating recyclable packaging, when it comes to developing a more sustainable version of bubble wrap, please ensure it still gives the same satisfaction when you pop those bubbles.
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