Fungus – The Future Replacement For Plastic

Scientific Research

The human race is polluting the Earth in more than one way. The major pollutant is smoke emitted from industries and automotives, the second major pollutant is unquestionably a human invention – plastic. It is almost inevitable that with the more use of plastic, there would be no one on Earth to use it. Therefore, scientists are looking into replacing plastic with the biological substances that would act as plastic.

In search for these safe alternatives it has been found out that Fungus is the most resilient, durable and safe organism to develop objects. As fungus can grow in most of the conditions across the world, there won’t be any deficiency of it and some companies have already started developing fungal objects that are used as packing materials.

Why Fungus?

Fungus grows on a surface by expanding with the help of filamentous structures. These filaments bind to the surface and become a part of it. Therefore, whenever the surface is carefully removed they will retain the shape of the surface exactly. With the application of heat the fungus will die and would turn into a ‘cork’ like substance that is fire resistant, water proof and strong.

The companies planning to use this technology are also trying to incorporate the idea of 3D printing technology. The 3D printers could create any form based on the design and the hollow structure within the object created is inserted with the fungal mould. In 3-4 weeks, the fungus would take shape of the 3D mould and can be taken out to form an object.

Further, researchers have found a way to create substances of different hardness like rubber, cork, plastic, net, etc. with fungus. Therefore, many of today’s objects can be easily replaced by the organic substance.

In a matter of few years, the world can witness a huge change and everything plastic would be replaced by Fungus. An additional advantage is that fungus derived products are of very lightweight and easy to carry. From bottles to containers everything would be biodegradable and human beings can survive a bit longer without plastic.

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