• Wes

50 new plastic eating mushrooms have been discovered in the past two years

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

The fact is that over 90% of plastic is not recycled today. Imagine a future with an army of mycelium chewing quietly and methodically through plastics.

In 2011Yale students discovered a fungus in Ecuador, Pestalotiopsis microspora, that has the ability to digest and break down polyurethane plastic, even in an air-free (anaerobic) environment—which might even make it effective at the bottom of landfills. Although the professor who led the research cautioned for moderate expectations, there’s an undeniable appeal to the idea of a faster, cleaner, side effect-free and natural method of disposing plastic.

Since 2017, Khan and his team at Utrecht University discovered around 50 more species. But the truth is it is lacking in scale to tackle the garbage we produce everyday. How can we make the removal of plastic achievable in large batches?

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