What if plastic waste could not only be reused in innovative new ways, but actually turned into something edible? Livin Studio attempts to make this seemingly utopian vision a reality with the Fungi Mutarium, a project that investigates plastic as a nutrient source to grow mushrooms.
Research has shown that some varieties of fungi have the ability to break down synthetic polymers into digestible form, and to remove toxic substances from water and soil without the need for chemicals.
The designers of Fungi Mutarium, Katharina Unger and Julia Kaisinger, collaborated with researchers at Utrecht University to create a system that can speed up the decomposition of plastic using UV light and then combine the resulting waste matter with fungi and agar.
What grows from that mixture is a strange little edible pod. “As the fungi break down the plastic ingredients and don’t store them, like they do with metals, they are edible,” say the designers. The harvested mycelium pods can be filled with all sots of ingredients and have very little flavor of their own. Would you be willing to eat something that was grown from a plastic bag?