How Is Mushroom Packaging Shaping The Electronics Industry?

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According to a 2020 poll conducted by Trivium Packaging in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, 74% of customers are likely to pay more for goods that are packaged sustainably. Additionally, 60% of the consumers polled stated that ecologically unfriendly packaging made them less likely to purchase a product. These statistics show that clients are becoming more and more aware of and concerned about sustainability. For this reason, their purchase decisions are greatly influenced by the business’s adherence to sustainability.

Electronics manufacturers, like other businesses in different industries, are increasingly adopting sustainable packaging. 

The adoption of sustainable packaging materials is being fueled by the fact that these manufacturers are becoming more and more conscious of this consumer preference. Consumers are more likely to appreciate businesses that offer green packaging. Sustainable packaging is a trend that isn’t just being driven by consumer preference, but also by a need for reducing the negative impacts it can have on the environment.

The usage of plastic must end and governments are seeing this as well. For example, new legislation in California states that by 2032, all packaging in the state must be recyclable or compostable. Although certain plastics may be recycled, the rule was created specifically to reduce single-use plastic and shift the responsibility for managing plastic trash from consumers to businesses, which is precisely what many customers desire.

Given these factors, switching to green packaging isn’t merely a fad; it’s a given.

What Options Do Electronic Businesses Have? 

The following are the options that electronic businesses have with regard to sustainable packaging:

  1. Cardboard

One of the first forms of environmentally friendly packaging is cardboard. It has been in use for many years and is simple to recycle and repurpose. Additionally, if the material is made from sustainable forests, it has a small carbon footprint. Furthermore, used cardboard could be shredded and given a second life as packing material. Additionally, the complete package can be composted, provided the inks used on the material are similarly eco-friendly.

  1. Bamboo

Bamboo is renowned for regenerating at a rate of up to an inch every hour. The plant is also naturally robust and has been used for generations to construct everything from furniture to dining utensils. Additionally, some electronics manufacturers are increasingly using it for packaging. For instance, Dell Computer promotes its “eco-friendly cushioning” to customers and professes to be the first company in the electronics sector to produce packaging from bamboo that is sourced sustainably.

  1. Seaweed

Seaweed may grow up to 1 meter per day and is very sustainable. It doesn’t outcompete food crops, doesn’t require fertilizer or fresh water, and as an extra benefit, it actively helps to reduce ocean acidity. Today, bottles, wraps, and other forms of containers are made from seaweed. Because of the material’s high level of biodegradability, a large number of containers created from it are also edible.

  1. Mushroom mycelium – Our focus

Mushroom mycelium is the fungus’ vegetative component. The underground root system of a plant would be represented by mycelium, and the flower would be represented by a mushroom if mushrooms were to be compared to plants. By moving nutrients, dissolving molecules, and assisting in the carbon cycle, mycelium plays a significant part in the earth beneath our feet. Mycelium, it turns out, is also a strong and environmentally friendly substitute for plastic.

This kind of packaging is created by first molding agricultural waste materials, such as corn husks, into the desired form. The waste is then bound into a sturdy, break-resistant container by the growth of mycelium, a fungus’s root-like portion. The containers can be manufactured in custom shapes to fit almost any type of goods, from little electronic devices to huge appliances, and they only take seven days to grow.

Market Trends for Mushroom Packaging in the Electronics Industry

Due to the increasing demand for portable electronics and newly developed wearable technology, the electronics sector is expanding dramatically. Moreover, the sector needs creative packaging solutions because of the rise of e-commerce. These solutions must incorporate high levels of fire protection and insulation, which mushroom packaging excels at. To cushion fragile electrical items and ship them to various locations, the sector also employs a lot of Styrofoam packaging. Furthermore, corporations may soon convert to rather expensive mushroom packaging goods thanks to large margins in the electronics industry. Consequently, it is anticipated that in the near future, the market for mushroom packaging products will experience considerable expansion as a result of increased scrutiny of plastics and a growing desire for biodegradable packaging methods.

Who is Using Mushroom Packaging?

Some significant businesses, including Dell, have used mushroom-based packaging for their goods. Dell started using natural fungus in its server shipment packaging in 2011 to provide cushioning. Dell has discovered after considerable testing that this substitute is suitable for transporting some of their larger goods, such as servers.

The mushroom pads take a few days to grow, and since the carbohydrates in the mushrooms contain all the energy needed, no additional fuels are required. 

The “Recycle and Compost Your Packaging” webpage on Dell’s website provides instructions on how to dispose of both the cushion and other packaging components in order to make sure customers are properly ridding of the compostable mycelium packaging. Since 2009, Dell has made a commitment to using more environmentally friendly materials, such as bamboo and mycelium, paving the way for the adoption of sustainable packaging practices by major corporations.

There has also been talk about other businesses, like IKEA, starting to use packaging alternatives made of mycelium to help them achieve their environmental objectives. IKEA is now working to phase out all plastic packaging for consumers by the year 2028; substituting products such as mushroom packaging could help them do this.

Is Mushroom Packaging Practical?

This is an excellent query because eco-friendly alternatives are typically too expensive and time-consuming to rival plastic and other chemical-based items, even though they are fantastic in theory.

This is not a good combo when battling the plastic titans.

Amazingly, however, mushroom packaging meets every requirement. It:

  • Decomposes easily 
  • Utilizes agricultural waste (which would have otherwise gone to landfill)
  • Is affordable as it grows itself
  • Is resilient, strong, and a superb insulator
  • Uses less energy and emits far less CO2 compared to plastics in the production process.

As you can see, mushroom packaging is shaping the electronics industry. Leading companies, committed to sustainable packaging, are considering the use of mushroom packaging as a viable alternative to plastic.

At GPA global, we are committed to helping your business in designing and developing packaging solutions that adhere to tenets of sustainability. Mushroom packaging is one of the solutions that they offer to companies. Contact them today so we can help you design packaging materials that will give you a competitive advantage.

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