As he jumped into his recycling bin to cram in all the packaging, Gordon wondered whether mushrooms were going to provide the answer anytime soon. Mushrooms you ask? Well, a while back, Gordon saw an inspiring TEDX talk about using mushrooms to make plastic out of waste. A really neat alternative to polystyrene and other oil-based plastic packaging.
It’s an exciting development, but still very much in the early stages. The Guardian reported the company as “[unable to] do too much too soon because it is still small” But the problem with polystyrene is a big one. According to one polystyrene recycling company, enough waste polystyrene to fill 15,000 Olympic sized swimming pools is sent to landfill every year in the UK alone; so let’s hope EcoVative are able to expand their business soon.
While mushrooms might provide a solution to packaging on high value goods, Gordon finds that he ends up with a lot of plastic packaging from his day-to day-shopping. “In my area there are no old-fashioned fruit and veg shops so we shop at the supermarket and so much food has plastic packaging. We used to throw away the packaging if it was contaminated, but now we wash it so it all goes for recycling rather than to landfill.”
Gordon a dental surgeon from Scotland took the Rubbish Diet in 2014 and slimmed his bin by half.
He’s always recycled a lot, but he hates food waste. He started to notice just how much food his family threw away when his local council started a food waste collection a few years ago.
“It’s quite sobering to see what you’re throwing away. When you put food in your recycling bin – you can really see what you’re doing. And how it all adds up when you have to empty out the back of the fridge of things that have grown a wee beard. We’re a lot more conscious of it now!”